Mental Health

According to the World Health Organization, mental health is “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

Managing our patient’s mental health is therefore often more about wellness than illness.  It can be helpful to look at your mental health as though it is a spectrum and it’s why in every consultation when we ask ‘how are you feeling?” we address the physical illness but encompass the mental wellbeing aspect because the two are so often linked.

According to national statistics recorded by the Beyond Blue Organisation approximately one in seven Australians will experience depression in their lifetime and one quarter of Australians will experience an anxiety condition. So, these illnesses are extremely common and each doctor in our practice has had many years of experience in making the diagnosis and managing these conditions.

We also see patients with eating disorders, Bipolar, ADHD, Autism spectrum disorder and personality disorders. Many of these more complex illnesses we would manage together with a psychiatrist in many instances and we have a comprehensive list of specialists that we refer to because we know their area of expertise.

It is also an advantage that we have practiced in the North Sydney area for many years now and so can usually access an appointment for our patients with a shorter waiting time if the matter is urgent.

Sadly, suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44.

On average, 65,000 people attempt suicide in Australia each year, and eight per day will die.  We are highly aware of our role as general practitioners in promoting positive mental health in the prevention of suicide.

 Having a social network, good personal relationships and being part of a community are essential to maintaining good mental health and contribute to people’s recovery, should they become unwell.

[1] 3303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2017 (2018). Preliminary data. Suicide (Australia).  

For immediate support, please call:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467