Mental health: up to three years of waiting for an appointment at an expert center

Mental health: up to three years of waiting for an appointment at an expert center

During their lifetime, one in three people will be affected by a mental illness. Faced with this public health issue, the Expert Centers in Psychiatry deployed by the FondaMental Foundation represent an innovative, effective solution… but still too rare.

Psychiatry Expert Centers, an innovative, efficient and profitable model

Specialized by pathology and integrated into the care pathway, the Expert Centers support conventional psychiatry in carrying out personalized diagnostic assessments. Multidisciplinary teams contribute to the gradation of care for the most severe psychiatric disorders by providing healthcare professionals who refer patients with expert advice and recommendations adapted to each patient, based on the latest advances in research.

Today, the FondaMental Foundation coordinates 53 Expert Centers on the national territory, grouped into four networks: bipolar disorders, resistant depression, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorders without intellectual delay.

Since 2010, these structures have demonstrated their effectiveness with a halving of re-hospitalizations observed, accompanied by an improvement in compliance with treatments, a reduction in the intensity of symptoms and disorders, and better management of somatic comorbidities. In addition to this effectiveness for patients, this organization allows a reduction in costs by halving re-hospitalizations one year after an initial assessment (the cost of hospitalizations represents 80% of direct medical costs for schizophrenia and bipolar disorders) .

Objective: one Expert Center per pathology and per region

But victims of their success, these centers suffer from waiting times that are too long (up to 3 years in certain Centers and for certain pathologies). Which constitutes a real loss of opportunity for patients.

The Psychiatry Expert Centers represent a concrete solution to improve patient care, thanks to a multidisciplinary approach informed by the latest advances in research. Studies confirm their effectiveness, with a significant reduction in re-hospitalizations and better treatment compliance. For the demand for care, the generalization of Expert Centers in the territories is a necessity” underlines Marion Leboyer, General Director of the FondaMental Foundation.

At a time when mental health is a priority, the Fondamental Foundation is calling for the stabilization and sustainability of funding earmarked for the hospital centers which house the 53 existing Expert Centers but also the deployment of 20 new Expert Centers to have a Center Expert by pathology and region. An appeal relayed by Marie-Jeanne Richard, President of Unafam and by Benoit Mournet, deputy for Hautes-Pyrénées, member of the finance committee who judges that: “The Expert Centers offer a service that complements the sector-based general care offering. Their success, now internationally recognized, underlines the crucial importance of a specialized and integrative approach in psychiatry“.