Boosting mental health services

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A Sheffield GP with an interest in improving mental health services in the city has co-authored a national health report.

Dr Steve Thomas co-wrote ‘Cultivating Mental Health Promotion and Prevention in General Practice’ to highlight the importance of doctors and nurses in GP surgeries being able to spot patients suffering with mental health conditions.

The report, which was published this week, highlights the support and interventions that could be put into place in general practice to reduce mental illness and, as a result, save lives. It also outlines the importance of staff involved in front-line NHS work being aware of their own mental health needs.

Dr Thomas, who is with Mental Health Lead for NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, wrote the report in conjunction with a national think tank. She said: “There has long been recognition that mental health promotion and early intervention would be beneficial for developing whole community health and resilience. With up to 75 per cent of lifetime mental ill health becoming apparent by the time a young person has reached the age of 24, early recognition and intervention is essential.

“This report and its twelve key messages aims to evidence that, and I really hope that CCGs across the UK will work with their health communities to make positive changes for the benefit of the public.”

Mental disorders are the leading cause of sickness and absence in the UK, without around 17.6 per cent of adults living with a mental disorder at any one time, leading to 77million sick days lost per year.