What is it about?

France, once a pioneer in psychiatry, is now sinking as its population faces major mental health challenges. This includes the 12 Million French individuals with psychiatric conditions, the lack of appropriate structures and the shortage of skilled mental health professionals, but it also leaves families in critical situations. The aim of this qualitative research was to explore the carers’ caregiving experiences and to suggest ways to organise educational programs to support mental health carers in France.

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Why is it important?

Thousands of research papers regarding carers have been published in other countries. In addition yet, to the knowledge, only a few investigations on French mental health carers have been conducted to this day. The singularity of this research lies in the rare individual interviews, which provided us with first-hand testimonies of mental health carers in France. This data could be of vital aid for professionals and for policymakers when advocating for better support of carers in mental health.


There is an urgent need for carer empowerment; carers should be included in educational programmes, they should benefit from French Government subsidies and social-network assistance and receive quality assistance by trained mental health professionals. The critical situation of carers can only be addressed by combining these three steps and through the action of appropriate actors in the field of mental health, thus alleviating the current paradigm of psychiatric care in France.

Clinician Nancy De Jesus
Universite Sorbonne Paris Cite

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This page is a summary of: Exploring mental health carers’ caregiving experiences in France, The Journal of Mental Health Training Education and Practice, May 2020, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/jmhtep-06-2019-0031.
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