How Your GP Can Help with Mental Health
Despite how common mental health issues are, they often fly under the radar for a multitude of reasons. Many people find it difficult to open up to others about their experiences out of fear of being judged or stigmatised. Others may find the process of seeking professional support to be overwhelming and are not sure where to start. Regardless, mental health issues should not be ignored. Although they may not be as visible as injuries or physical illness, mental health issues can deeply impact our ability to function across various contexts and require just as much attention and treatment as any other disability.
As every individual’s needs are different, talking to a General Practitioner (GP) is a great starting point for any type of health concern. Whether you already have a good relationship with an existing GP or are searching for a new one, a GP is able to conduct a mental health assessment and determine a treatment plan, often linking you in with appropriate supports as well.
Creating a Mental Health Care Plan and/or Referral
At Positive Mind Works we have two GPs, Dr.Tanya McGhee and Dr. Blanchard Kadiongo who have extensive experience and knowledge supporting patients with mental health concerns. They are able to assess your symptoms and create appropriate referrals to suitable mental health professionals such as psychologists and psychiatrists, both of which we have on our team.
Although a referral is not required to access our psychology services, all Australians are eligible for 10 subsidised sessions per calendar year through a mental health care plan, which is created and reviewed by a GP. If your GP believes you may benefit from a medication review or psychiatric assessment, they will create a referral which will provide you access to our psychiatry services.
How to prepare for your GP appointment
It is important to prepare yourself for your GP appointment so you can provide them with the necessary information they require to provide you with appropriate support.
If you are unsure how to best prepare, consider the following:
- Think about the reasons you are visiting your GP and create a list of the key points you would like to discuss. Be as honest as possible about your concerns and how they impact your everyday life.
- Book a longer appointment to ensure you have enough time to discuss what you need to.
- Consider your family medical history and obtain any information you can as this can help your GP identify the issue you may be experiencing.
- Make sure to provide accurate information of current or previous medication use and history of medical events or injuries as this can help rule out physical causes of symptoms.
- Write down any questions you may have.
- If you don’t feel you gel with your existing GP and feel uncomfortable opening up, please consider making an appointment with another who may be able to better address your concerns.
Remember, GPs are trained professionals who are not here to judge you for your issues. They will work alongside you and other health professionals to provide long term support and treatment for your mental health problems so you can improve your quality of life.
To book with one of our GPs for a Mental Health Care Plan or referral, please contact our team on
1800 327 477 (AU)