Despite being the most vulnerable to psychological issues, women and people living in poverty have the most difficulties receiving psychological care.
According to a study done by the Mutualité Chrétienne (MC), one of Belgium's oldest mutual insurance companies, the existing offer for psychological care in Belgium does not meet the needs of both groups.
One of the study's main findings was that the cost of psychological care stood out as a barrier to people living below the poverty line, with 59% viewing it as their main obstacle.
In the case of depression, for example, those experiencing financial difficulties are more likely to resort to medicine (73% compared to 62% among the wealthier respondents) than a psychological follow-up (39% among the poorest respondents).
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To that end, CM's vice-president Elisabeth Degryse noted, "the care reimbursed with our insurance plan is frequently used by our members, and there is clearly a need in this area."
"However, the reimbursement of this care must be reviewed so that it is accessible to all, regardless of financial means,” she concluded.
The other social group less likely to seek psychological care are those who identify as women, according to the study. This is manly due to the resulting mental burden placed on them by daily gender-based discrimination.
Furthermore, the study noted that the cost of psychological help worries them more (33%) than men (24%) and they are also more likely to encounter problems making an appointment (4%) than men (1%).