Men­tal health isn’t a per­ceived stigma

GPs urge com­mu­nity to talk about men­tal health

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS WELCOME -

A RE­CENT Australian Jour­nal of Ru­ral Health re­port has re­vealed a third of ru­ral and re­mote Aus­tralians suf­fer­ing mod­er­ate to high psy­cho­log­i­cal distress don’t think they have a prob­lem, which shows a need for in­creased men­tal health ed­u­ca­tion for pa­tients around ru­ral Aus­tralia.

The Royal Australian Col­lege of Gen­eral Prac­ti­tion­ers ru­ral chair, Dr Ay­man Shenouda has called upon res­i­dents to visit their GP when they feel things aren’t right.

“Men­tal health is the main rea­son Aus­tralians visit their GP,” Dr Shenouda said.

“We con­tinue to see pa­tients who have a per­ceived stigma of men­tal health.

“It is im­por­tant we re­move any stigma associated with seek­ing help, as un­treated con­di­tions can have huge long term ef­fects on pa­tient’s health,” Dr Shenouda said.

“GPs are ded­i­cated to help­ing all com­mu­nity mem­bers with any men­tal health is­sue, a gen­eral prac­tice is a safe and trusted place for pa­tients to raise their con­cerns in a pri­vate man­ner. “We en­cour­age res­i­dents, as well as their friends and fam­i­lies to reach out for pro­fes­sional as­sis­tance when strug­gling with men­tal health is­sues.

“A con­ver­sa­tion with a GP can be just that – a con­ver­sa­tion, but it can also be the start of a jour­ney to treat men­tal health and as­sist in times of need,” he said.

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