GPs are not trained to deal with the increase in mental health problems

  • According to The Royal College of GPs there has been a rise in the number of young people suffering from mental health problems and doctors are not being given the correct training to spot and deal with the issues.

    GPs estimate that tens of thousands of young people are suffering from depressions, stress and anxiety, and that in the most serious cases they are self-harming and taking their own lives. Self Portrait 2

    The Royal College of GPs believes that some of the issues are on the rise due to young people being unable to cope with lack of money, jobs and opportunities.

    A problem when treating people suffering with mental health disorders is that there is a lack of any up-to-date research, says The Royal College of GPs. The last significant study was done ten years ago, reports the BBC.

    According to the Office of National Statistics, the number of fifteen to 34 year olds taking their own lives was around 1,600 in 2011, an average of more than four every day.

    Norman Lamb, the minister in charge of mental health care in England, said: "It's a bit hit-and-miss as to whether you get a GP who really understands the issues. I am absolutely determined. I am on a mission to give mental health equality with physical health. I think in the past mental health has always been the poor relation and we've got to change that. In terms of its impact on people it's much more significant than many physical health problems."

    There are currently no details on whether the government plans to introduce further mental health training fro GPs.

    Dr Jane Roberts from the Royal College of GPs says the consequences of undiagnosed, untreated mental health problems can be serious. "This [the symptoms of mental health issues] can go from withdrawing from normal social life to cutting, to self-harm - which may escalate into more harmful methods involving overdoses and serious cutting - to ultimately taking their own lives."

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