mhfA booklet offering advice for people on how to talk to their GP about mental health issues has been published.

The guide, How to talk to your GP about your mental health, published by the Mental Health Foundation, aims to encourage people to look after their mental wellbeing and to seek help if they feel they need it. It includes advice on what to expect at an appointment and how the GP can help.

Research shows that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any year but most of those who would meet the threshold for a diagnosis do not actually go to their GP.

Dr Jonty Heaversedge, who wrote the foreword to the guide, said: “The first step to getting support if people are having difficulties is usually to visit their GP. They will be able to receive advice and (where appropriate) medication to help better understand and manage their feelings. They may also get referred to more specialist services for additional support if this might help.

“As a GP, it is essential to help people live with and manage their mental health problems at an early stage, to minimise the chances of their conditions worsening in the future. This is why the Mental Health Foundation has produced this guide to help people talk about their mental health with more confidence.”

Jenny Edwards, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, added that many people find it difficult to talk about their mental health problems to their GP. “Some people might worry about making a fuss, others are concerned that they might not be listened to or taken seriously. 

“We hope that the useful tips suggested in our guide provide people with the confidence they need to ask for help when they need it.”

The guide can be downloaded for free here.