Authors: Maryellen Haines, Judy Rockall
Event: 2001 TheMHS Conference
Subject: book of proceedings, GP Shared Mental Health Care, General Practitioners, Mental Health Bridges
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Research conducted by the South Gippsland Division of General Practice indicated high levels of concern from GPs regarding access to mental health care for their patients. Concerns included: links to Gippsland Psychiatric Services, the communication between GPs and the mental health service providers, the GPs own lack of counselling expertise and their need for current medical education surrounding mental health, the shared care and the post discharge care of mental health consumers. In a cooperative spirit a multidisciplinary Level I Clinical Attachments program was designed to address these concerns.
Attachments of 2 days, with an additional 1 day of individual GP ,work were co-designed by the Division and mental health services. Based on the outcomes of research and with attention to educative processes attachments included:
- comprehensive manuals for GPs
- timetables allowing for interaction between a psychiatrists, pharmacists, case managers, triage and inpatient staff
- case studies developed by GPs
- briefings and debriefings were designed to gather additional data
- evaluations by all health professionals involved
- professional of readings
- RACGP points.
These attachments have been highly successful. Thirteen GPs have completed Level I with twenty two GPs enrolled in the program for 2001. The Division has 32equivelant full time GPs.
Through working together to design, participate and evaluate a multidisciplinary mental health team approach in a rural area, GPs and mental health professionals have succeeded in taking the first steps across the bridge between the islands, service to service, professional to professional, health professional to patient.