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What can a GP to do to help with mental health?

Hi everyone, sorry if this isn't in the right place of the forums, feel free to move it mods if it isn't.


Anyway I saw a new GP today, he was lovely, told me some things I didn't know so had much more knowledge, and will actually prescribe me my meds rather than refusing to and getting my Psychiatrist to (in another state) like the old GP I had.


My question is, he asked me what I'd like from him (the GP) and what role he can play in helping me.


I just said that I'd like someone to talk to in between sessions with my Psychiatrist and a support worker, and someone who is kind, caring but professional, and will prescribe me meds. Other than that I don't really know.


I don't know much about what GPs can do for mental health, all I know is that they can prescribe you meds like a Psychiatrist and help with side effects, etc. And they can do Mental Health Care Plans (I've had them done before)/refer you to places like a Psychologist.


Does anyone know anything else a GP can do, what I should ask for, etc please? Any help is appreciated but I understand if no one's sure.



Re: What can a GP to do to help with mental health?

Hey @musicfan_xo 


Good question! Thanks for raising it. I'm actually not too sure of anything else that GP's can do. I'm sure there are things but I am only aware of what you've mentioned so far. I think it might actually change from GP to GP - I know some Drs provide counselling-type services to patients, but I'm not sure to what extent, and I doubt that all GPs do this. You mentioned wanting to talk to your GP in between support worker/psychiatrist sessions, which he/she seemed open to, right? If so, that's great, and it sounds like your GP might be open to providing these counselling-type sessions to you. I might add that I think it's really great that you've taken the initiative to get a Dr that is best suited to you and that you have articulated what you want from this new Dr. That honestly takes a lot of bravery and shows strength. You are taking action and seeking the right medical service for you, which I imagine would feel somewhat liberating! I also really like how your new Dr asked how he can help you. It sounds like he is taking a collaborative and person-centered approach, and that he is truly listening to you and what you need, which is great to see!

Re: What can a GP to do to help with mental health?

Hey @Maddy-RO , thanks for replying.


I changed GPs (same clinic though) because when I turn 21 I had to stop seeing the GP I used to see, anyone does who is older than 21. I'll be 21 this year. So I decided to change now so I didn't stress myself out.


Plus my old GP refused to prescribe me meds even with letters from my Psychiatrist so I chose this one, that support worker I  have coming to my house (because the company she's from is closed) saw him as a patient and used to work as a Nurse in the clinic told me I should go try and see him so i did.


Yes he said he's happy to see me every couple of weeks in between my Psychiatrist sessions, and the support worker, and if things go ok with this social worker I'll be seeing for the first time on Monday, then between seeing her too.


I tried asking the GP what they/him can do for mental health but he didn't say that much because as he said, it was just me meeting him today to see if I'd get along with him, and I did, so fingers crossed he can help, I feel like I've found the right GP and I hope so. He said we'd discuss things more next week because I see my Psychiatrist again and I'll get him to send stuff to my GP, etc.


All I really want in a GP, which I told him, is someone who is kind & caring but professional, and will be prescribe me meds (regardless of how they do it, as long as I get them). I did get a prescription for another non mental health medication I've been on for 2 years, he was happy to do that, asked me some questions no one has about that and did my blood pressure (which no one bothers to do). And just someone who won't judge me, so take me seriously and be kind to me, and will try to fit me into their schedule without making me feel rushed and pushed away even if they have a busy day. So just a kind, caring, helpful professional that will prescribe me stuff and/or do what I ask them to do, if anything. I told the GP this since he asked.


He told me about something I can try which I discussed with my parents, a test they can do at the clinic (he said he's done it before), and I'll ask my Psychiatrist, which I never knew about so I'm considering it, i think it could be helpful.


The GP also said to me today that he was just being honest with me and saying that as a GP, he may say things to me that I don't want to hear, and if I don't feel he's a right fit, I can change and I won't be offended, but I said he seems fine for now but it's the first session with him. I said I appreciate his honesty telling me that the first time I saw him.


The GPs are all so kind, and the receptionists, at this clinic. It's such a cozy atmosphere too - it has details of the services they provide and about the GPs on a TV on the wall, nice plants and artwork, just a nice place overall, and they have 3 waiting rooms because it's a big clinic. Lots of Male & Female GPs to choose from.


The GPs walk up to you & call your name with a smile, ask how you are & introduce themselves, then hold the door open for you before & after your session & smile at you the whole time. I've never experienced that in a GP clinic so I'm glad I went there. Very professional. Even patients will talk to you with a smile.


Sorry for rambling haha

Re: What can a GP to do to help with mental health?

@Maddy-RO sorry for my long comment above, but I forgot to type this:


Could I also go to my GP in between my Psychiatrist sessions and say my mental health is bad, I have side effects from meds, and feel like they're not working (not beneficial, need to change them all together, etc), then they communicate with my Psychiatrist, or any problem at all?


Shouldn't the GP communicate with my Psychiatrist somehow too rather than just my Psychiatrist?

Re: What can a GP to do to help with mental health?

Hi @musicfan_xo,


I think it makes a lot of sense that you want a GP who will be caring, professional, and understanding, and it's great you had such a positive experience with your new GP. Hopefully you'll feel a lot more supported about your health in the future with them!


With your questions about going to your GP, those things are probably best to discuss with him first as he will have a good idea of what he is able to help you with, and things you might need to talk to your psychiatrist/psychologist about.


With the question about who your GP should be communicating with, I would say a lot of that is up to you and whether you would like them to remain in contact or not, so it is also something worth talking to him about, and maybe bringing up with your psychiatrist as well.

Re: What can a GP to do to help with mental health?

Hey @TOM-RO , I've already asked both of those questions to them

Re: What can a GP to do to help with mental health?

@musicfan_xo What did your GP have to say about that? Did he say you could see him about your medication/mental health, and whether getting linked in with your psychiatrist was a good idea?

Re: What can a GP to do to help with mental health?

@TOM-RO well I did mention in my last Psychiatrist session which was a few days ago that I'll be changing GPs. I sent an email to the Telehealth company I see my Psychiatrist on to let them know the details.


The GP asked what I'd like from him, and what role he can play in my health, and he said that he'll be honest, he, as a GP,  may say things that I don't want to hear. But I appreciate the honesty.


He said in between my Psychiatrist sessions, support worker(s) from Wellways, etc. I can see him whenever I feel the need to and he'll try to help me and prescribe my meds if I need any.


Other than that, not much really. I said I'd just like a kind, caring, professional to talk to and give me suggestions (for example self care, a website, etc) for one thing, that doesn't judge etc.


My Psychiatrist should be fine with that and should agree but I don't see him for 2 more weeks, same with the GP

Re: What can a GP to do to help with mental health?

@musicfan_xo It sounds like you were able to have a really helpful and open conversation with your GP, and that he's another support that you can go to for some extra help when you need. I also think that it would be really up to you then about whether you want to link in your psychiatrist to your GP or not.


Hopefully the rest of the community can pitch in too about whether they've had any similar experiences with this, and how they found it sorting out the transition to a new GP!

Re: What can a GP to do to help with mental health?

Thanks @TOM-RO . I'll ask my Psychiatrist when I see him in 2 weeks, then I see the GP the day after.


I hope the GP is helpful and wants to help, even if it's just someone to  talk to in between sessions.


Can I go to my GP if my mental health is bad, and if I have side effects, in between seeing my Psychiatrist, then they can discuss it and work on something together for me? I think thats how it should work?