Mental health issues see young people head to GPs
on 30/11/2012 00:00:00
Prof Colum Dunne, who directed the research, said: "Relatively large numbers of young people may not always be aware of, or able to, access appropriate health services.
"GPs at the coalface of primary patient care are frequently encountering complex mental health issues in young patients and are attempting, as best they can, to care for these patients in a primary care setting."
Of those who presented with mental health issues, 10% were referred to specialists.
The GPs surveyed identified the need for improved access to dedicated youth services such as counselling, psychology, and psychiatry.
GPs in the regeneration areas of Limerick City also found higher levels of stress and anxiety.
Up to 500 people they had encountered in the previous year needed access to services that were unavailable.
Prof Cullen said: "This is one of the first studies to report data on the role of general practice in addressing youth mental health in Ireland.
"The current study further shows the importance of dialogue between young people, researchers, and policymakers."
The study was under-taken at UL's Centre for Interventions in Infection, Inflammation, and & Immunity. This is a newly established centre and brings together a team of researchers focused on developing studies that impact health outcomes.
A focus of the centre is the translation of research findings into better patient outcomes and improved effectiveness in healthcare provision.
* The study is online here
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