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When to see the GP about mental health

Feeling low or down now and then is a normal part of life. But when it’s ongoing and stops a person from getting on with their usual routine, it may be a good idea to see the GP – whether that’s because of feelings of low mood, anxiety, panic or depression. Talking to the doctor is the most direct way of finding out what’s wrong and getting help. GP consultations (appointments) are usually short but can still be helpful. Sometimes GPs will offer longer appointments if someone needs to talk. A doctor can help to:


A GP talks about mental health and when it’s a good time to see the doctor.

Sophie had felt tired and low for a while, and had lost interest and motivation. She confided in a friend, who told her to see the school counsellor. Later Sophie went to see the GP.

Siobhan’s brother found out that she’d been making herself sick. He told her that a doctor could help. Seeing the GP with her brother was easier than going on her own.

•    diagnose whether someone has depression or another mental health problem

•    give information and recommendations that may help

•    prescribe antidepressant or other medications if necessary

•    refer a patient for counselling

•    refer a patient to other mental health services

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