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“Glossary” of mental health care professionals

Social worker - Assistant social

A professional who provides solutions to issues related to an individual’s environment that have an impact on mental health, such as financial or housing insecurity, complex family situations, and so on. The assistance provided helps to untangle situations that weigh heavily on the person, generate stress and have a negative impact on mental health. You can get in touch with the CROUS or the social services of the institutions of the Université de Lyon.
Non medical / free of charge

Counseling associations - Associations d’écoute

They offer immediate assistance to individuals who need to talk or are looking for advice or guidance. Easily available by phone, they also provide in-person appointments or instant messaging conversations. They are sometimes specialized to offer a targeted response (suicide, anorexia, depression, etc.).
Non medical / free of charge

Medicao-psychological centers - Centres médico-psychologiques (CMP)

Open to all, these are multidisciplinary daytime facilities staffed by mental health specialists (psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, psychomotor therapists, speech therapists, etc.).
Medical or non medical / fee-paying, reimbursed by Social Security

Guidance counselor - Conseiller d’orientation

With their in-depth knowledge of the world of education and training and the labor market, they can help studies with their anxieties about their professional future.
Non medical / free of charge

Hypnotherapist - Hypnothérapeute

Trained in hypnosis, they support individuals by placing them in altered states of consciousness to help overcome pain, addiction, stress, etc.
Non-medical / fee-paying, not reimbursed by Social Security

General practioner - Médecin généraliste

General practitioners are well equipped to deal with mental health issues, especially if your GP knows you well. As an entry point to the health care system, they will refer you to a specialist if necessary.
Medical / fee-paying, reimbursed by Social Security

Handicap mission - Mission handicap

People with mental disabilities have rights. The Université de Lyon and its institutions run Handicap Missions, whose role is to help disabled students access their rights, offer them a support plan, make adjustments to their timetable and exam times, etc.
Non-medical / free of charge

Psychiatrist - Psychiatre

Based in a private practice or in a hospital, the psychiatrist specializes in the treatment of mental illnesses and disorders.
Medical / fee-paying, reimbursed by Social Security

Psychologist - Psychologue


Professionals trained to respond to situations of psychological suffering through counseling techniques, rather than by prescribing medication, as they are not doctors.
Non medical / fee-paying, can be reimbursed by the French National Health Service as part of the Mon parcours Psy and Santé Psy Étudiant programs.

Psychotherapist - Psychothérapeute

A professional, who may or may not be a doctor, who offers therapies (analyses, psychotherapy, etc.). They are registered with the National Register of Psychotherapists, which can is available via the Regional Health Agency (ARS).
Medical or non medical / fee-paying, reimbursed by Social Security if the practitioner is a doctor.

University health services - Service de santé universitaire (SSU)

Health services (physical and mental) of higher education institutions. With a threefold medical, psychological and social approach, they offer consultations specifically geared to students.
Medical and non medical / free of charge

Sophrologist - Sophrologue

The sophrologist uses mind-body techniques (relaxation, breathing, physical exercises, etc.), especially for stress management.
Non medical / fee-paying, not reimbursed by Social Security

Psychiatric emergencies - Urgences psychiatriques

Recommended for urgent cases requiring rapid treatment (decompensation, attempted suicide, etc.).
Medical / free of charge