Do I go to my GP for Mental Health Advice?

“We still act as if ill mental health is something rare – but as the statistics show, it likely affects every family and every school in the country.”                                                                    Andy Bell, Deputy Chief Executive – The Centre For Mental Health

 

There have been huge developments in the area of mental health over the last few years, particularly in the overall understanding that mental health disorders are far more common than we originally realised. 16.2% of adults in the UK now suffer with a common mental disorder.

So what do you do and who do you go to if you think you or someone you know is in need of mental health advice?

The first thing is not to worry and feel alone. It’s good to talk about what is worrying you or getting you down and the good news is that there is a wealth of help, information and services available for you to access the help you need.

 

Should I go to my GP?

The answer is yes – If you’ve been feeling depressed for a few weeks or your anxiety is having an impact on your daily life, such as stopping you from going to work or shopping, then you should make an appointment with your GP. Your GP will help assess your needs, offer the appropriate advice or treatment and if necessary, refer you to the right mental health service for further advice and treatment.  

These services may be provided by your GP surgery, a large local health centre, a specialist mental health clinic, or hospital. The treatment may be provided on a one-to-one basis, in a group and can also sometimes involve partners and families.

If you or someone you know is experiencing problems related to drugs or alcohol, the NHS offers a number of self-referral, as well as some psychological therapy services. There are also a number of support lines and charities you can call if you want to speak to someone straightaway. Many of the people at the end of the phone have experienced mental health problems themselves and are able to offer practical help and guidance. Others are mental health professionals, able to offer expert advice. For further information on Mental Health Services offered in England, please visit the NHS website.  

If you require information on how to contact a doctor out of hours for mental health advice, and a full range of other health services, please click here.