S10: Resilience in the general practice/mental health service interface.

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By September 4, 2019 No Comments

Authors: Marilyn McMurchie

Year: 2019

Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Resilience in the general practice/mental health service interface.

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers



Marilyn McMurchie is a general medical practitioner working in a 10 doctor practice close to St Vincent's Hospital Sydney. As well as general medicine, the practice is known to provide care for people with HIV, hepatitis B and C infections, sexually transmitted diseases, drug and alcohol problems and a spectrum of mental health conditions. St Vincent's Mental Health services and local non-government organisations providing support to people with mental health issues often refer people to East Sydney Doctors.

People with major mental health disorders usually make use of a hospital mental health service when they are acutely distressed. Once the situation has settled somewhat, people can transition to care in the community and general practitioners (GPs) are part of this community of care.

People with major mental health problems are known to have a lesser quality of life and to have a shortened life expectancy with an increased risk of many chronic diseases so referral for general medical care is appropriate. However GPs can also share the care of the mental health condition such as continuing medication prescriptions and monitoring for medication side effects.

To this end, information about the psychiatric diagnosis or diagnoses, medications and the person's history and context is essential.

Communication between the multiple silos of health care is problematic.

This paper will present a prospective snapshot of people referred to East Sydney Doctors by government and non-government organisations, especially with respect to communication about their mental health care.

Learning Objectives

Learning Objective 1: To develop an understanding of the transition from a mental health service to general practice.

Learning Objective 2:To approach a benchmark for transitional processes.


Mann L (2005), From "silos" to seamless healthcare: bringing hospitals and GPs back together again. Med J Aust 2005; 182 (1): 34-37

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