First-line psychological function (FLP)

In April 2019, a pilot project was set up in which doctors can refer patients with mild and moderately severe mental health problems to a clinical psychologist or clinical remedial educationalist for short-term, first-line psychological treatment that is largely reimbursed by the health insurance fund.

Initially, this was only envisaged for the 18 to 64 age group. Since 2 April 2020, the sessions have been refunded for people in all age groups.

The treatment consists of a series of individual discussion sessions. After an intake interview with a diagnosis of the patient’s psychological problems, treatment sessions are organised which are aimed at general psychological care, solution-focused treatment, etc. In addition, if the patient requires more intensive, long-term counselling, the care worker can refer the patient to another care provider who may or may not work at an advantageous rate.

Mild and moderately severe mental health problems are defined as mental health problems related to anxiety, depressed mood, moderate to serious alcohol abuse or misuse of sleeping pills and sedatives. For young people, these can include behavioural or social problems and addiction to screens. The project is still in the start-up phase.

Number of providers of front-line psychological care per region (01/11/2020)

Amount of care provision  front-line psychological function per region

Recently, an agreement was reached in the IMC Public Health, primarily on strengthening the care offering in front-line health care. Indeed, on 2 December 2020, the Protocol agreement on the coordinated approach to strengthening the mental healthcare offering in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic was concluded. The agreement sets out several priority target groups, such as children and parents in vulnerable families, young adults, and people with pre-existing mental health problems.  Additional recurrent budgets were set aside for this enhancement. Intensive consultations are being held with the sector on how to use these resources efficiently.