95297 - Mental Health Skills Training Primary Pathway
CheckUP’s Mental Health Skills Training is a six hour workshop aimed at developing a general practitioner’s understanding of the requirements of the MBS Item numbers for mental health, referrals and patient health care planning. The program supports GPs to further develop their skills in recognising and assessing mental illnesses, preparing evidence based General Practice Mental Health Treatment Plans, monitoring and reviewing progress and the referral of patients to appropriate services. The first half of the workshop focuses on assessment, planning and review of treatment plans. The second half focuses on topics that complement a GP’s knowledge of managing patients who experience mental health issues including evidence based psychological interventions, physical health and mental illness and local mental health services or agencies. The program has been developed with a strong consumer and carer focus.Relevance to General Practice
General practitioners are usually the first point of contact for patients with mental health concerns. An estimated 13% of GP encounters were mental health related in 2014-2015. This number is likely to rise with an average annual increase of 6.1% in the estimated number of mental health related GP encounters recorded since 2010-2011.
With increased numbers of patients experiencing mental health related conditions it is important for GPs to recognise the most common disorders such as depression and anxiety. Additionally GPs will frequently see individuals who have comorbid chronic medical conditions or drug and alcohol problems. A WHO study highlighted the complex interaction between depression and physical illness, describing how each contributes to the worsening of the other. In such an environment, GPs require the skills and knowledge to provide early intervention and access, if required, additional support services for patients with mental illness.