If you thought that playing hard to get was a thing of the past, brace yourselves for a comeback. You'll have to dust off those rusty skills and get back in the game, because getting an appointment with a psychologist these days requires a masterclass in perseverance.
At this point, I believe that most people need therapy. Or at least with the pandemic came a profound shift in people's lives (duh).
People started questioning where they were at in life, their jobs, their relationships, basically this fleeting thing that is human existence itself. As if that wasn't enough, the world then flipped upside down again with the war in Ukraine. Add to that a dollop of housing crisis, mass layoffs, climate change and outdated systems that don't fit the needs of younger generations...
The more we turn towards younger generations, the more we witness a yearning for change, accompanied by an overwhelming frustration. At first I thought that I was alone in this feeling of "instability". I thought that maybe it was related to the impending dread of turning 30, or the detrimental effects of the post-covid pandemic... somewhere along the way I felt like I lost my "lightheartedness".
But as I started confiding in friends, colleagues, or younger people in general, I realized that we were all trapped in this feeling of heaviness and unease. Perhaps this affects a specific age group only, but I do think that this experience is happening on a collective level. More and more people ask themselves what happened to their "carefree" attitude and why something in the air just feels heavier than usual...
Now, we witnessed an enormous sure in mental health awareness during the pandemic. People were struggling, seeking mental health care like never before. Ironically, even with the pandemic "kind of" behind us, the demand for mental health support continues to increase, while the supply is limited. To make matters worse, more and more psychologists and psychiatrists seem to be suffering from burnouts as they struggle to cope with overwhelming surge in demands.
This appears to be a global predicament, with a survey conducted in the United States revealing that 6 out of 10 psychologists have no availability for new patients. On average, psychologists in the States have an additional 15 patients per month who seek help.
Read also: What types of psychological treatment are available in Luxembourg?
I think it's imperative to understand what is happening on a collective level. There is an alarming prevalence of burnouts, people suffering from anxiety and depression, and a dire need for psychological care. And while normalizing mental health issues has been very important and rather successful these past years, we should not normalize the fact that so many people suffer from it.
We have to try and understand the underlying causes of this phenomenon and find a treatment for it, so that someday we can see a decrease in people needing help...But before that, we must address the reality that people who seek mental health care are usually confronted with waiting lists - an epitome of cruel paradox.
As if the frustration of making countless phone calls and searching for available psychologists wasn't life-draining enough, those grappling with mental health issues have it twice as hard. The effort and energy required for this search takes a huge toll, which is the last thing a person seeking mental health support needs. In Luxembourg one in three residents reported a decline in mental health during the pandemic, adding urgency to the situation.
The pandemic has emphasized the need for therapy, and the demand for mental health support continues to increase. It is crucial for the government to ensure that the supply of mental health services meets the rising demand. And while I applaud the new reimbursement of psychotherapies in Luxembourg, it's all just a whimsical gesture when we don't even have enough available psychotherapists to go around...
Read also: What should you do if you have mental health issues in Luxembourg?