Authors: Jill Benson
Event: 2000 TheMHS Conference
Subject: PRIMARY CARE, GENERAL PRACTITIONERS, book of proceedings
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: General Practitioners are the first 'port of call' and the mainstay of treatment for the majority of people with a mental illness. 10% of our consultations involve psychological problems and 25% of even severe illnesses like schizophrenia are treated solely by GP's. These figures are predicted to increase as the incidence of depression rises and more psychiatric treatment takes place in a community setting. We are ideally placed for such things as preventive care, dealing with family issues, community liaison, shared care with hospitals and private psychiatrists, continuity of care, monitoring of concurrent illnesses and dealing with side effects of medication. However as a group we don't seem to have earned the respect and trust of much of the public or private sectors, we are under-funded, lack the support networks necessary to treat difficult patients and struggle to keep up with new medications and psychotherapeutic techniques. In summary GP's are a multi-skilled, easily accessible, holistic, family-oriented resource within the medical community who need to be encouraged, supported and educated to fill a valuable niche in the mental health system.