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Annual GP survey reveals depression is most commonly referred mental health difficulty

An annual survey commissioned by St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, which questioned a nationally representative sample of 100 GPs, has found that depression is the most common GP referral to secondary care mental health services, with 93% of GPs listing it as the most common mental health difficulty for which they refer.

An annual survey commissioned by St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, which questioned a nationally representative sample of 100 GPs, has found that depression is the most common GP referral to secondary care mental health services, with 93% of GPs listing it as the most common mental health difficulty for which they refer.

Anxiety was also another common cause of referral from GPs, with 51% of those surveyed listing it as a common condition for which they refer. Other common mental health difficulties that GPs refer for include:

  • Psychotic disorders – 22%
  • Suicidal ideation – 9%
  • Alcohol/substance abuse – 8%
  • Bipolar disorder – 6%
  • Eating disorder – 3%

Referral to St Patrick’s

Two-thirds of GPs surveyed are familiar with the referral process for St Patrick’s Mental Health Services however, 29% were not aware they could now refer electronically and a further 18% not aware that they send clinical information securely to St Patrick’s via Healthmail.

eReferrals are the most preferred method of referral, with 52% referring via Healthlink or their GP practice management system.

Two-thirds of GPs were unaware that a number of mental health treatment programmes in St Patrick’s are accessible by GP referral without the need to be under a consultant.

Four out of five GPs questioned were also not aware that St Patrick’s Mental Health Services run a mental health information and phone line, which is run by qualified mental health nurses. The phone number for this information line is 01 249 3333

Continuing professional development

St Patrick’s Mental Health Services offers GPs a dedicated GP portal through which they can watch ICGP CPD-accredited films made specifically for GPs (1 CPD credit per film). At present, there are three films on the site including one on the topic of adolescent mental health and the other on treating anxiety.

St Patrick’s also recognises the importance of continuing professional development in the ever-evolving area of mental health and as such, we want to hear your opinions on CPD options that you would be interested in. Please take two minutes to complete our short survey, which will guide us as we continue to develop our CPD portal for GPs.

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Online eReferral mini guides

Support & Information

We provide free support and information for GP's and healthcare professionals regarding services available in St Patrick's.

01 249 3333

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