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MIDWEEK MINDSET: Two in five GP appointments are about mental health

Publication date: June 6, 2018

Two in five GP appointments are about mental health

Two in five visits to the GP are related to mental health problems, a survey has found.

A survey of more than 1,000 GPs has revealed that 40 per cent of their appointments now involve mental health problems, while 66 per cent say the number of patients needing help with mental health has increased in the last 12 months.

Mental health charity Mind, which carried out the poll, is now calling for better training for GPs and is backing existing calls to extend GP training from three to four years, to allow more time for trainee GPs to gain experience in mental health.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: ‘For most of us, our GP is our first port of call for accessing support for our mental health on the NHS, and the majority of people will only ever be seen in their GP practice.

‘As demand increases, it is more important than ever that the NHS gets that support right.

‘GPs do a really difficult job. We know it can make a huge difference when our GP is knowledgeable and confident about mental health, or when we find that a physical illness is affecting our mental health.

‘When they are well supported and receive specialised, relevant and ongoing training, they are better equipped to provide the best care.’

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Sexual assault victims to be offered lifetime of mental health care under new NHS plans

NHS England has announced that victims of sexual abuse will receive a lifetime of mental health care.

According to iNews, the NHS has pledged better care for victims of sexual abuse and assault across England as part of a five year plan. The plans include integration of sexual assault referral centres across community services and improved provision for men.

Kate Davies, NHS England director of sexual assault services, told iNews: ‘The physical effect of these crimes is so shocking that it can be easy to overlook the long-term mental health needs, which may be less visible but not less harmful.

‘Across England, the NHS is expanding care for people with mental ill health, whatever their condition, and our new guarantee of personal, joined-up and life-long care for those who have suffered sexual assault and abuse, will build on excellent progress to address a big gap in care.’

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‘Students urged to put wellbeing ahead of exam grades’

 A mental health charity has said students must put their wellbeing ahead of their grades as the exam season continues.

According to ITV News, Samaritans Ireland have urged young people to avoid putting themselves ‘under intolerable levels of pressure and stress’ and have encouraged teachers and parents to keep an eye on those they care for.

‘We would urge anyone involved in exams and supporting young people with their studies, to ensure students look after their emotional health,’ Regional director Cindy O’Shea said.

‘That way they are likely to cope better with the stress of exams and achieve better too.’

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