GPs shouldn’t provide ongoing mental health support: RANZCP

A survey of 1000 adults by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) found people over 45 years are lagging behind younger generations when it comes to understanding mental illness.

This age group was twice as likely as 18- to 24-year-olds to rely on their GP over any other type of mental health professional or social support.

RANZCP president, Dr Murray Patton, said this puts older patients at risk of delayed recovery as well as increasing pressure on GPs to provide mental health and support.

“This lack of understanding in the community of the roles of other mental health professionals has increased the burden upon our primary health care system,” he said.

“It is imperative that we educate the Australian public to seek referral for mental health concerns rather than relying solely on GPs to provide regular frequent ongoing support.

“While GPs provide excellent primary care to