GPs and Mental Health

According to the Mental Health Foundation, GPs are there to help you with any problem related to your mental health as well as physical health.

You can go to them if you feel sad after a relative has passed away, if the pressures of life are making you unhappy and anxious, or if you feel angry or confused.

Mental ill health can have a negative impact on your physical health, just as a having a physical health problem can affect your mental health. GPs don’t just prescribe medicines for mental health conditions.  They can also help you to access talking therapies and point you towards specialist help.

For more information, click to expand the links below.

Why go see a GP over a problem that you think will eventually pass?
  • A minor problem could develop into something more serious if ignored.
  • Recurrent problems (like feeling anxious) can impact on your quality of life and lead to other problems.
  • Seeing a GP regularly can help you to learn more about the support available to you, and helps your GP to better understand your needs.

View of a Young attractive doctor advising a young couple of patients

Think about the following in advance to get the most out of your appointment
  • Do you need a double appointment? You have the right to book 20 minutes rather than the usual 10 if you think you need longer to talk to your doctor.
  • You can specify if you want to see a GP with specific skills (like one that speaks your language or a specialist GP) or only a male or female GP.
  • Ask a friend or family member to come to the appointment with you if you think it might help.
  • Prepare a list of the concerns you want to discuss. Include physical and mental symptoms, how long you’ve felt this way and how it affects your life.
  • Be open and honest. GPs are trained to deal with intimate and uncomfortable things in a professional and supportive way and everything you tell them is legally confidential (unless you could be a danger to others).
  • If you think you know what will help you, tell the GP.
  • Ask them to write down anything you don’t understand and make notes during the appointment if you need to.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions or get the GP to repeat things.
  • Make sure you fully understand what the next steps are before you leave the room.
  • If you’re unhappy, you can see another GP at your practice.