Why mental health education is required in primary care

In 2016, MIND published a report for Clinical Commissioning Groups. In it they explain that patients may visit the GP or practice nurse and discuss other concerns that are impacting on or are related to their mental health. They may attend their GP practice frequently before their underlying mental health needs are addressed. The authors of the report recommend a greater focus on mental health in initial training for the primary care workforce and, importantly, those already working in primary care should receive regular training on mental health.

A national survey of practice nurses showed that 82% of respondents thought that they were responsible for managing patients’ mental health and wellbeing without having received appropriate training. The authors of the five year forward view for mental health advocate that the training of GPs could be improved to ensure that they are fully supported to lead the delivery of multidisciplinary mental health support in primary care.

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