Improving the mental health of Australians: A renewed call for primary care psychiatry

Shuichi Suetani, Savio Sardinha, Neeraj Gill

    Research output: Contribution to journalOther Journal Articlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The Global Burden of Disease Study in 2019 showed that mental disorders such as depression and anxiety remain the leading causes of disease burden worldwide.1 The 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing found that only one-third (34.9%) of those meeting diagnostic criteria of any mental disorder in Australia utilised any service for mental health problems. Of those who did, many consulted primary care providers such as general practitioners (GPs) (24.7%) rather than specialised care providers like psychiatrists (7.9%).2 More recently, the General Practice Health of the Nation 2021 Report found that 70% of GPs reported psychological presentation to be one of the most common reasons for patient presentations in 2021, and 82% of Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) supported mental health services were provided by a GP. Furthermore, the Productivity Commission Report 2020 highlighted the need to strengthen psychiatry’s relationship with GPs to improve the mental wellbeing of Australians (e.g. Actions 10.3, 11.1, 16.3).3
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)637-639
    Number of pages3
    JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
    Volume30
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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