Analysis of co-morbidity issues, of public health matters and educational needs in primary care mental health
Daniella E.C.C.O.H. Kingsley1 and Joshua Godwin2
Objective- To discuss the public health and clinical issues affecting mental health practice in primary care.
Design- Systematic Review and Clinical Misanalysis
Setting- Various published materials such as books, printed journals, online journals, internet, websites, leaflets and booklets.
Method- A systematic review was carried out by looking at published materials such as books, journals, online databases and journals, internet and websites, leaflets and books published by different organisations, and data, and information obtained interpreted in the light of the current situation.
Results- A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioural pattern that occurs in an individual and is thought to cause distress or disability that is not expected as part of normal development or culture. At various stages of history and civilisation, different reasons have been attributed as to the cause of this affliction. The role of public health is to contribute ‘to the health of the public through assessment of health and health needs, policy formulation, and assurance of the availability of services’. This would increase awareness and help in decision making. Mental disorders are common and affect all of us at some time; if not ourselves directly, then friends, family or work colleagues may be affected at some point in their lives. Most people who suffer from mental disorders and who receive care from the health service do so in primary care. Mental health problems are now implicated in one in four primary care consultations in the UK, making mental health consultations second only to those for respiratory infections. Depression is the third most common reason for consultation in UK general practice. While most people suffer from mild conditions and recover quickly, a significant proportion suffer from chronic conditions that cause moderate or high disability, with other co-morbidities. There are need for better commissioning and education in primary care.
Conclusion- Public health plays an important role in mental health in primary care, and general health of the entire population. The importance of health needs assessment, access to healthcare resources and co-morbidity issues in mental health have been emphasised. The family centred vision of public health encourages interprofessional and multiprofessional working especially in the area of mental healthcare in the community. However, there is a growing need to develop relevant training and educational programmes in public health skills in order to prepare primary care and other healthcare professionals for the challenges and providing efficient care to the public, especially in dealing with mental health problems.
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