GP Psych Support service
The GP Psych Support service provides GPs with free patient management advice from psychiatrists within 24 hours.
Why use the GP Psych Support service?
- The GP Psych Support service is designed to help GPs with mental health related queries in general practice.
- The service psychiatrists have working knowledge of psychiatry in general practice.
- The service psychiatrists are from all over Australia; rural, remote and metropolitan areas.
- The service is free and can be accessed at any time, day or night.
GP Psych Support psychiatrists have the extensive knowledge and experience to provide GPs with advice in the mental health management of:
- child and adolescent
- drug and alcohol
- general adult
- older adult psychiatry
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.
This service operates exclusively for GP users and is available:
- 24 hours a day
- 7 days a week
- 365 days a year, including public holidays.
The GP Psych Support service is proudly managed by the RACGP and is funded by the Department of Health and Ageing under the Better Outcomes in Mental Health Care initiative.
- The psychiatrists are providing advice only. The responsibility for clinical management decisions remains the sole responsibility of the treating GP.
- GP Psych Support does not provide a face-to-face assessment with a psychiatrist. All communications with psychiatrists are conducted by phone, fax or the secure website.
- GPs cannot directly call the service psychiatrist. Enquiries are submitted via the GP Psych Support website or via the call centre.
- GPs that have patients with a high risk of suicidal ideation; suicidal intent; or risk to others should not submit an enquiry about these patients to GP Psych Support but refer them to acute psychiatric emergency services.
- GP Psych Support service is not appropriate for emergency cases. Where a patients risk is assessed as low to moderate risk in each of the three risk categories the GP is permitted to submit an enquiry for response.
- In situations where the service psychiatrist feels that an enquiry has developed into a medical emergency, the psychiatrist has the right and legal obligation at any time to refer a GP onto the local acute psychiatric emergency services.
What kind of questions can I ask?
Below are examples of the types of questions you can ask.
- I have a patient who suffers from depression. He has been taking SSRI antidepressant medication for 6 weeks and is not responding. Should I wait longer for a response, increase the dose, or change the antidepressant?
- I have a patient with anorexia and a BMI of 15. How forceful should I be about getting her into an inpatient unit for specialised treatment? She doesn't want to go.
- My patient presented with schizophreniform psychosis but is also very lethargic and sleeps well. Which antipsychotic should I start the patient on?
- I have a patient with severe anxiety who refuses all medication, due to apparent side effects. What are my treatment options?
- One of my patients has been on antipsychotic medication for 2 weeks. I've taught the patient slow breathing and relaxation techniques with some benefit. Though acute symptoms have settled, patient still hallucinates and is restless at night. Does medication need to be added or changed to get better control of symptoms?
- I have a patient who has presented with postnatal depression. What is the best antidepressant to prescribe a breast feeding mother who is now 3 months post partum?
- I have a patient who has difficulty falling asleep for the last 4 weeks. Feels anxious at night because he is worried about whether he is going to sleep. Should I provide medication for the anxiety?
- The family of a patient with schizophrenia has approached me. They are concerned because the patient has stopped eating, stopped taking medication and refuses to see a doctor. How should I proceed to encourage the patient to receive treatment?
- Parents bring in their child who has poor appetite, difficulty concentrating and learning. The child cries easily and has mild dyslexia. There is a strong family history of depression. Could you please advise about possible diagnosis and treatment?
Your feedback and comments are valuable to us. If you wish to provide feedback or have any queries about the service, please contact the project team on email@example.com