Pressures on mental health services being felt by GPs on frontline

new survey from Pulse has revealed how the pressure on mental health services has led to GPs having to provide specialist mental health support that they say is beyond their competence.

The survey of 569 GPs, which looked at the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health services at the GP level, found that 70% were providing mental health support outside of their competence to children, and 63% for adults.

Pulse reported that GPs were also having to provide:

  • Dealing with suicidal ideation in adults (86%).
  • Dealing with mental health crises in adult patients (81%).
  • Monitoring patients who should be monitored by a specialist team (70%).
  • Diagnosing children and adolescents with mental health issues (69%).
  • Dealing with suicidal ideation in children (66%).

GPs are seeing a massive increase in mental health problems in consultations: pre-covid only 25% of consultations had a mental health element, now the level is at 38%.

Full story in The Lowdown, 22 May 2022