10 October 2018

"I promise to work with my patients every day to remove the stigma of mental illness"

Mental health continues to dominate appointments in general practice, with one in five Australians experiencing a mental illness in the past 12 months.

The President-elect of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has today pledged to remove the stigma that still exists around mental illness.

“Mental health is the leading reason why people come in and talk to their GP every day. From my experience, this number is only growing,” Dr Nespolon said.

“For decades GPs have been working tirelessly with their patients to provide support and care and to make sure that mental health is viewed just like other health concerns and taken seriously by the whole community.

Today (10 October) is world mental health day, providing a worldwide focus on psychological and mental health issues affecting millions globally every day.

“Stigma has been keeping many patients away from sitting down and having a chat with their GP about how they are feeling," Dr Nespolon said.

“In my experience, this has been particularly noticeable in males and rural patients, who often don’t consider or acknowledge the importance of their mental health. However the tides have started to turn when it comes to people feeling more comfortable to speak up when they are not ok.

“If you are someone who is struggling with mental health, please know you are not alone and your GP is there to help, even if it’s just for a chat."

Visit the RACGP website for more information about mental health.

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