Pandemic Fatigue, without renewal of the psychologists’ contracts. 250 patients left alone

In the end, no solution was found for the mental health professionals working in the CSMs of Campobasso, Isernia and Termoli. Not even a buffer solution, nor an extension to guarantee the continuity of care for “invisible” patients, those of the psyche. Yesterday, January 31, the contract of psychologists expired (the other contracts will expire in two weeks) who in recent weeks had appealed to Asrem to extend the project to “overcome mild-medium depression with particular attention to the female gender” , started in February 2021 with a call that recruited 9 professionals: 6 psychologists and 3 psychiatric rehabilitation technicians.

Reminders, letters and press articles have proved useless: the time is up and the contracts, at least in the short term, will not be renewed. Patients who started support courses at mental health centers in Molise’s three towns last February and did not complete therapy remain with the game in hand. “It’s difficult – testifies one of the psychologists in a sour voice – that they can change professionals, because when you are taken care of by a psychiatrist, a special bond is created with the patient who generally leads the patients not wanting to change treatment. methods in the middle of the road”. “Until the end – adds another liquidated professional – we hoped for a renewal, if only to complete the work started with the patients and especially with the women, the main beneficiaries of the project”.

Depression, anxiety, fear, hypochondria, pandemic side effects that “leap” from body to mind, triggering a series of reactions that experts all agree define pandemic fatigue.

So stop the project at the CSM of Molise with the aggravating circumstance that in Isernia, from today, there is only one psychologist left to manage all the cases in the province. “Asrem urged the Molise Region to find the economic availability for the continuation of the project – explains the general director Oreste Florenzano to – ​​​​but it was not possible to obtain the extension until We hope that we will soon be able to proceed with a new project with the same purpose. On the other hand – adds the CEO of Asrem – there is not much we can do because this type of service that contrasts medium-light depressions does not is not part of the essential levels of assistance for which there is a specific obligation”.

The general attention of Institutions towards the collateral damage of confinement, isolation, marginalization and fear of the virus is, it is obvious, still in a phase of underestimation. The number of services provided from February to December 2021 with the project is not enough: more than 3,000. A fact that draws the idea, better than any word, from the ongoing urgency and the need to do face the embarrassment linked to the emergency with multidisciplinary tools, which has so far recorded a clear and unequivocal observation (moreover confirmed by pharmacists and doctors) increase in drugs against stress, insomnia, panic attacks and homeopathic and herbal products, used in large quantities even by the very young and even children.

As of today February 1, while waiting for us to decide whether to give due attention to this area of ​​care, in Molise 250 patients remain suspended, deprived of the psychological and psychotherapeutic support they could count on in 2021 And the consequences, from this point of view could be just as serious as the pandemic in the strict sense.

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