25 March2014

Resources for GPs to Help Young Patients with Mental Health Problems Will Make a ‘World of Difference’ says RCGP

Children and young peoples’ mental health and wellbeing is fundamental to their physical health and the vast majority of NHS care for children and young people is delivered by general practice teams.

A poll conducted for MindEd of 2105 adults found that 87% would turn to their GP for help and advice if they thought a child had a mental health issue and so it is clear that GPs have a crucial role to play in improving the mental health of younger people.

This is why the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) is a member of the MindEd Consortium – a group of health bodies, led by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) – to help bring issues that healthcare professionals have with approaching mental health issues with our young patients to the forefront.

As part of the RCGP’s role in the MindEd Consortium, the College has also launched an elearning course on Child and Adolescent Mental Health, with a specific focus on GP-related issues, to complement the wider resources available through the MindEd e-portal.

The course is freely available to healthcare professionals via the RCGP’s Online Learning Environment and has been funded by the Department of Health.

It uses case studies to focus on mood and behavioural problems in young patients and reflection activities to demonstrate potential barriers young people face when seeking help and suggests steps GPs can take to make mental health care more accessible to these groups.

Dr Jane Roberts, RCGP Clinical Champion for Youth Mental Health, said: “Youth mental health is a clinical priority for the RCGP.

"GPs want to support young people and families with mental health issues, but many find it a difficult issue to broach with their young patients.

“It is essential that GPs are sufficiently prepared to discuss what are often sensitive issues with confidence and that children and young patients feel comfortable approaching their GP. I am confident that easy-to-access and convenient resources, such as the MindEd ePortal and our own elearning course, are going to make the world of difference to GPs and their patients.

"MindEd is the first step in raising awareness of youth mental health amongst GPs. The RCGP will continue to work with the RCPCH, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and Young Minds to develop ways that GPs and specialists might train together to work more effectively when caring for young people with mental health problems.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office - 020 3188 7574/7575/7576
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659


The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 44,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.