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Mental illness accounts for a large percentage of the disease burden in Australia. Addressing mental health issues is, therefore, every health professional’s business.
GPs see approximately 80% of the population every year5 and a significant proportion of GP consultations are for mental health issues or are mental health related.
While not all people with mental health issues are at risk of suicide, it is a risk factor. It is important that GPs are skilled in detecting not only the mental health issues of their patients, but also in assessing the person’s risk of suicide or self-harm.