This learning module offers valuable training for GPs to help them screen patients for a wide range of mental health conditions. The treatment approaches provided through the module are designed to enhance the skills and confidence of GPs to provide effective, primary care for patients with Axis 1 mental health conditions, including mild to moderate depression.
The need for better primary mental health care In 2008, 733,982 British Columbians received mental health services. Most of these people (638,203) received some level of mental health care from their GP, although most GPs in this province have limited training in this area of care.
One study showed that 82 percent of patients in BC diagnosed with a mental disorder received their only care from a family physician. This is not surprising, as patients often prefer to receive mental health care from their GP – someone they already know and trust.
Although cognitive behavioural therapy skills have been found just as effective as antidepressant medication for mild and moderate depression, most GPs are not trained in these skills. As a result, the most common interventions by GPs for patients with depression are medication and referral.
The Mental Health module is intended to address the need, felt by many physicians, for improved skills in diagnosing and treating patients with mental health problems.
Learning outcomes After completing the Mental Health module, you and your MOAs will be able to:
- use diagnostic screening for mental health disorders
- use cognitive behavioural therapy skills with patients in your office
- use the Bounce Back program, the Antidepressant Skills Workbook, and other mental health care resources
- better use specialized mental health services for patients with complex mental health needs
- understand billing supports and options for providing mental health care.
The module will also help MOAs by increasing their knowledge of mental health issues and their confidence in working with patients with mental health problems.
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