This course is designed to provide general practitioners with the core skills required to deliver mental health care in general practice. It forms part of the prerequisite core module for GPs seeking Mental Health Skills Training (MHST) accreditation via the modular pathway.
Specifically, this eLearning course highlights the fundamentals of mental health care in Australia, including an overview of the Better Access initiative. It provides GPs with core knowledge on common mental health conditions (depression, anxiety and psychosis and their comorbidities) and essential skills in the assessment and management of people with mental illness.
Relevance to General Practice
GPs report that psychological issues (eg depression, mood disorders, anxiety) are the most common health issues they manage. This is not surprising considering one in five (20.1%) or 4.8 million Australians had a mental or behavioural condition in 2017-18. Anxiety is the most common diagnosis, followed by depression, with 13.1% of Australians having an anxiety-related condition and just over one in ten people (10.4%) having depression or feelings of depression in 2017-18.
With the high prevalence and burden of disease associated with mental illness, GPs require the knowledge and skills to detect and manage common mental health disorders. This includes completing mental health assessments and developing high quality general practice mental health treatment plans.
- Identify and manage treatment for mental health issues.
- Develop and review evidence-based and needs-based GP mental health treatment plans in consultation with consumers and carers.
- Use practice systems to identify local services and resources that safeguard consumer safety and assist in providing holistic mental health care to consumers.
- Use appropriate Medicare benefits schedule (MBS) item numbers relating to the provision of mental health care.
Domains of General Practice
D1. Communication skills and the patient-doctor relationship
D2. Applied professional knowledge and skills
D3. Population health and the context of general practice
D4. Professional and ethical role
D5. Organisational and legal dimensions
Curriculum Contextual Units
- Adult health
- Children and young people health
- Psychological health