Self-employed people suffering the effects of the Covid-19 crisis are to be given up to eight free sessions with a clinical psychologist, the government said.
The offer comes from David Clarinval (MR), federal minister for small business. The sessions will be fully reimbursed from a budget of €11 million.
As a result of many of the measures taken to combat the epidemic in Belgium, many freelance workers have found their incomes slashed and their work situation become precarious.
Help is available for those unable to work because of the crisis, but a task force on vulnerable groups also suggested psychological support for self-employed workers suffering through the crisis.
The last government made it possible for anyone covered by health insurance to claim for eight sessions in a year with a psychologist, reimbursed with the exception of a co-pay of €11.20 per session.
For the introduction of what he called “a crucial measure,” Clarinval worked together with minister for social integration Karine Lalieux (PS).
“In addition to the economic support we try to provide, we should not neglect the psychological aspect of the situation,” Clarinval said. “The scale and duration of this crisis are unprecedented. The stress it causes, especially for those whose life’s work is endangered, is immense. That has an impact on everyone, even the most mentally resilient people.”
And he urged the self-employed to take advantage of the offer.