Covid-19: English-language helplines for depression

A Santé Publique France study has found that the mental health of people in France had “deteriorated significantly between the end of September and the beginning of November”

21 December 2020
By Jane Hanks

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic there has been a steep rise in the number of people suffering depression and mental health issues.

English speaking telephone helplines and professionals are available in France.

A study by national health agency, Santé Publique France found that the mental health of the French had “deteriorated significantly between the end of September and the beginning of November,” from 10% of the population to 21%.

The worst affected were the young, aged 18-34, those without jobs and people in financial difficulties. Interviewees for the survey said the factors affecting them were loneliness, money worries, anxiety about catching the virus, and a feeling that others close to them were dealing with the situation better than they were.

Anyone feeling low and wanting to talk through their problems with a sympathetic and non-judgmental listener can call SOS help on 01 46 21 46 46,

The charity is based in Paris but takes calls from anywhere in France. It operates along the lines of the Samaritans where trained volunteers are there to listen to calls which are kept anonymous.

Cancer Support France has been offering its support on a wider basis since the start of the Covid-19 crisis. Its trained Active Listeners will give emotional support both by phone and by email to any English-speaking person who is elderly, isolated, vulnerable or who has health problems.

CSF is a network of independent associations throughout France and its regular service is to provide support for English speaking people of any nationality who have been touched by cancer.

You can contact the CSF National Helpline on 0800 240 200 or by email at

There are also several English-speaking Alcoholics Anonymous groups in France.

You can find details of all English language speaking groups throughout Europe, including France, at with upcoming meetings listed here.

Since the first lockdown many meetings have been, and some continue to be, conducted online via Zoom.

Website is a directory where you can find an English speaking counsellor or other therapist in France. It also has details of local support and social support groups across the country.

Get news, views and information from France