The Mental Health Skills Training with a focus on youth mental health active learning module (ALM) provides general practitioners (GPs) with the skills to recognise and assess mental illnesses and to prepare evidence-based GP mental health treatment plans.
In recognition of these increased skills, GPs who have completed mental health skills training (MHST) gain access to additional MBS items, 2715 and 2717.
The MHST modular pathway and this ALM consist of two modules:
A Mental Health Core Module, which provides an overview of the Australian mental healthcare system, aetiology of the common mental illnesses seen in general practice and how to complete mental health treatment plans.
A Mental Health Clinical Enhancement Module which provides participants with the opportunity increase their skills in detecting and managing mental illness in young people.
Relevance to General Practice
In 2007 the Australian Bureau of Statistics found almost one in five Australians experienced symptoms of a mental illness during the previous 12 months. Other statistics show that for those aged between 15-24 years mental illness accounts for almost 50% of the burden of disease.
With increasing numbers of people seeking assistance, GPs require the knowledge and skills to detect and manage common mental health disorders and also adapt their approach to meet the needs of a growing number of young people.
An ability to complete mental health assessments and develop high quality General Practice Mental Health Treatment Plans is essential along with the ability to coordinate specialised care. The Australian Department of Health recommends that GPs providing mental health care complete appropriate training. This education offers a comprehensive guide to assessing and managing mental health issues in general practice with a specific focus on young people.
- outline the features that allow the detection of common, disabling and treatable mental illnesses in general practice
- undertake mental health assessments using the appropriate psychometric instruments validated for young people
- demonstrate preparation of evidence-based GP mental health treatment plans in partnership with patients and their carers
- describe the evidence based treatment recommendations for anxiety, depression, borderline personality disorder and psychosis in young people
- identify practice systems and other issues that safeguard patient safety in providing mental healthcare
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