Mental health is scary ? In Nîmes, a psytruck goes to young people to provide consultations

Mental health is scary ? In Nîmes, a psytruck goes to young people to provide consultations

La psychiatre Aurélie Schandrin et deux infirmiers mettent un psytruck en service. Midi Libre – K. H.

Mental health is scary ? In Nîmes, a psytruck goes to young people to provide consultations

Two psytrucks to go to meet the young people. Midi Libre – K.H.

An innovative idea supported by the University Hospital and psychiatrist Aurélie Shandrin.

"Psychiatry is always scary, there are a lot of preconceived ideas, false images like in the films, the idea that we are crazy and that we risk being locked up…" Even if practices have evolved "especially over the last twenty years, the taboo continues", observes Aurélie Schandrin, psychiatrist at Nîmes University Hospital and responsible for Villa Orygen, a service which welcomes 16-30 year olds with a psychotic or mood disorder (read box). "Our desire, born in 2022, was to be more mobile, to meet young people, those whom we would not see without never doubt despite a need, explains the psychiatrist. "To consult while roaming", outside&# 39;hospital to take the drama out of this first contact. 

Mental health is scary ? In Nîmes, a psytruck goes to young people to provide consultations

Aurélie Schandrin: "Psychiatry is scary, we need to reinvent our way of working". to work Midi Libre – K.H.

Walk-in consultations for 16-30 year olds

To set up the project, she consults young people followed in her service but other young people also not concerned, who all express their fear of psychiatry and mental illness, and validate the idea of ​​the van, "less anxiety-inducing" and even the name psytruck, &quot ;because at some point you have to use the word psy, it's a reality,smiles Aurélie Schandrin. She responded to a call for tenders from the Hospital Foundation which allowed her to make the project a reality with the purchase of two vans.

While the system is just starting this month of March, she recalls its three missions: to follow roaming young people already in care at Villa Orygen, to provide information and mental health prevention and, "that's very innovative", offering consultations without an appointment.

Four times a month

The psytruck will therefore land once a month at the University of Nîmes in Vauban, at the medical school and at the IFMS with which agreements have been signed. "We hope soon for an agreement with the City so that the psytruck can be installed in a place in the city center", hopes Aurélie Schandrin. 

Orygen: the Villa that opens the horizon

Villa Orygen opened its doors last May, replacing the day hospital which was located in the city center. "We wanted& ;nbsp;a name less stigmatizing than'hospital”, explains Aurélie Schandrin, the psychiatrist who manages the place. Orygen is first and foremost an Australian structure specializing in the mental health of young people, "with an optimistic and psychosocial rehabilitation approach", she says, convinced, "I am the only French psychiatrist to have trained in Australia". 3% of young people suffer from more or less severe psychotic disorders, 80% of which appear between the ages of 15 and 25, 20% are depressed. "Early treatment is essential, this is the heart of our work", explains Aurélie Schandrin. At Villa Orygen, patients co-construct the project within a youth steering committee, peer health mediators testify about their journey and their healing, discussion groups help families, a job coach supports professional integration. "The psychological disorder is not his identity. We can live well with our illness", reassures the psychiatrist.

Villa Orygen, 28 rue de Calvas. 04 66 68 55 70.

The psychiatrist's credo: "Recognize problems as early as possible to better manage them" while one in two young people is worried' of a future darkened by war or climate change and that a quarter of young people will have suicidal thoughts at some point. Two nurses and an intern will welcome the young people in the psytruck, "they confide more easily with us, the exchange is less formal, we take the time," smile Gérald and Nicolas, two big guys who have worked in psychiatry for fifteen years. Their job: detect symptoms, prevent risk factors (stress, addictions, trauma, etc.), advise ("31 14, a number ;national call for suicidal risks, for example"), refer to a psychiatrist if necessary by facilitating access to care in a saturated sector.

"By reinventing the way we work, we hope to change the image of psychiatry. We are already inspiring other teams elsewhere, and in addiction too, rejoices Aurélie Schandrin.

The psytruck will be present Tuesday March 19, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., in front of the Crous (Vauban); Thursday 21, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., in front of the medical school; Friday 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at IFMS. Contact: 06 23 92 19 42 or on the CHU website to access the psytruck roadbook.

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