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Seeing a therapist shows ‘courage’ say French public

Two thirds of French people say that going to see a therapist or psychologist is “proof of courage”, and 42% of French people aged 18 to 24 have already had therapy, a new poll on mental health has found.

The survey by pollster YouGov for news source LeHuffPost found that just 30% of people believe that seeing a therapist or psychologist should be something that you should “keep secret”.

The poll also revealed a generational gap in the number of people choosing to seek mental health support.

While more than two in five of 18-24-year-olds said they had already had therapy, this compares to just 27% of those aged 55 and over.

The younger age group is also more likely to share their therapy experience publicly on social media, with 10% saying that they would do so.

According to French psychiatric group l’Association Française de Psychiatrie, one in five French people will suffer from some kind of mental health issue during their life. Of this, 13% will suffer from generalised anxiety, and 11% will have a depressive episode.

The group also said that mental health problems are the third-most common health issue for the French public, after cancer and cardiovascular conditions.

The findings come as part of a new series on mental health and therapy, which was launched on September 16 by LeHuffPost in France, in collaboration with its sister publications in the USA, Canada, the UK, Greece, and Spain.

It is running stories and help guides on issues such as how to choose a good therapist, how to speak to your manager about mental health, and how to prepare for your therapy sessions.

It is highlighting and discussing the topics on social media, via the hashtag #TuVoisQuelquun (Are You Seeing Someone [A Therapist]?”

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