Self-employed in Belgium to get free sessions with psychologists

Self-employed in Belgium to get free sessions with psychologists
Credit: Belga

The federal government has decided to give eight free sessions with a psychologist to self-employed people who are “suffering from this crisis,” the Minister for the Self-Employed David Clarinval announced on Tuesday.

Clarinval, who has been working on this alongside Federal Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke, emphasised that financial aid for this group remains the priority, but noted that the need for mental health support has increased.

“We have seen in the course of these last months that the crisis has gone on for so long, that there is a suffering that is affecting these groups, and so, with my colleague Vandenbroucke, we have taken this initiative today to offer these free sessions,” he told RTBF.

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Clarinval said that the project will rely on the help of services connected to these people, such as an accountant, a banker, or the social secretariat, to detect those who are suffering and help them seek support.

"We know that the self-employed are people of strong character who do not spontaneously seek help, and even less so when it comes to psychological assistance. That is why we thought it was important to offer the possibility of calling in 'scouts' - trusted people - who help self-employed people to take the plunge into psychological care," said Vandenbroucke.

This trusted person can use an online form to give the self-employed worker the care that is suited to their needs.

"The main objective is to help the self-employed in need to take the step and get the necessary help. This means proactively reaching out to them and providing rapid assistance through efficient dispatching. The approach responds to the reality and culture of the target group of self-employed people with mental health problems," said Clarinval.

The one-year pilot project by the non-profit association "Un pass dans l'impasse" was launched on 6 April and complements a similar initiative launched in Wallonia last summer.

Lauren Walker

The Brussels Times

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