December 23, 2018 Adrienne Cantwell 0Comment

“Psychodon, living with a psychic illness ” in red letters on the mythical facade of Olympia, it is the crazy bet that Didier Meillerand, journalist and president of the association of the same name, has launched. On June 12, 2019, many artists will give voice to fight against the taboos around illness and psychic disability. Several names have been unveiled exclusively: Olivia Ruiz, Yannick Noah, Pascal Légitimus … A great evening that promises to be more ” spectacular ” than the previous one.

A second ” spectacular ” edition

On June 12, 2018, the 1st Psychodon was sold out at the Théâtre de l’oeuvre (Paris 9th); so for this second edition, you had to hit hard and see even bigger. Didier Meillerand makes a phone call to his partner, Stéphane Roussel, a member of the executive board of the Vivendi group and shares his ambitions. That’s good, Vivendi owns the Olympia! This evening will be punctuated by testimonials from business leaders, presidents of associations involved in the field of psychic disability and especially those concerned. In order not to miss anything, the concert will be broadcast on the local channels of France Televisions. A golden opportunity for Didier Meillerand who wants to install mental illness in the French audiovisual landscape. The event being placed under the high patronage of the President of the Republic, its organizers hope the presence of Brigitte Macron.

The last taboo

The idea? Make Psychodon a ” unifying brand like the Telethon and Sidaction “. ” This cause needs a strong initiative to overcome stigma .” This fight, he thinks he can win because the Sidaction has already led before him. Thirty years ago, the taboos around AIDS were overwhelming, ” people would die in silence because they were ashamed ” but, as the association progressed, ” through a miraculous path “, to sensitize the general public. ” Psychic disability, one of the last taboos, needs a standard-bearer, ” says Didier Meillerand. Its new challenge: make mental health a ” great national cause in 2020 “, after a first vain attempt in 2018 (article in link below). This battle is particularly close to his heart because he grew up with a schizophrenic brother. His book The Wooden Pear recounts the story of a family, his own, who lives to the rhythm of ” delirious puffs ” and stays in the psychiatric hospital of the eldest son. Morality: ” Dare to talk about it ! “.

Psychic disability in employment

On November 27, 2018, a conference-debate on the employment of people with a psychic disability was organized on the initiative of the Psychodon in the premises of the Vivendi group, in the presence of Messidor , Clubhouse France, Handicap International … All are unanimous: ” We must break these taboos because psychic disorders are still scary . For Stéphane Roussel, ” diversity is a wealth, not a handicap. Hiring psychic disabled people should not be a societal endeavor but a desire to diversify their talents . Xavier Ducrest, France Director of Handicap International underlines the ” chance ” to be able to mobilize on this theme whereas, ” everywhere in the world, it is hidden and certainly not declared “. It also makes a clean sweep of stereotypes: ” People with intellectual disabilities are not necessarily violent; conversely, they are 2.5 times more likely to be abused . “

Work is health?

Olivier Callet, from the Paris Society for Mental Health Support , advocates ” working first “, a supported employment program. The objective: an intensive follow-up individualized by a ” job coach “, access to maintenance in employment in ordinary environment. Work is health ? Sophie Chrizen, author of The Strange Universe of the Schizophrenic is convinced: ” When I’m at work, I do not think about my illness, I focus on the tasks to be done. “. According to Olivier Callet, a job allows, in any case, to ” develop one’s own resources “. Business leaders who mobilize themselves are often personally concerned. But ” when you are passionate about the HR function (human resources), you can not ignore this audience, ” said Lucie Caubel, co-founder of Hello Disability, an online recruitment fair dedicated to disabled workers . The objective of the Psychodon – and the collection of donations as the name suggests – is to raise awareness of the general public to this ” major issue “, in a context where one in five assets presents a risk of developing mental disorders (Article link below).