Interventions : Increasing Quality Of Care For Those Who Are Mentally Ill Or At Risk Of Suicide?
Increasing Quality of Care
Quality of care for those who are mentally ill or at risk of suicide is a crucial aspect of reducing the suicide rate. Quality care involves sufficient, well trained professionals who can act quickly to treat patients.
General Practioners are the primary point of contact for most people entering the health system, and as such are the first line of treatment for those suffering from mental illness or at risk of suicide. However, large proportions of people who are experiencing symptoms of mental illness or distress avoid seeking help from their doctor, for many reasons, including fears of stigmatisation (Wrigley, Jackson, Judd, & Komiti, 2006). Greater training of General Practioners to enable them to ask questions and observe symptoms as part of a general screening process, in order to diagnose mental illness earlier, possibly without the patient having to directly seek help, something that can be very difficult for those suffering from mental illness or suicidal thoughts. This screening could be especially focussed on those at most risk, including young people, and those who have gone through dramatic life changes recently. General Practioners are also in a unique place to help educate and dispel stigma related to mental illness, which requires a greater focus on the biological and physiological causes of mental illness both in educating the doctors and in their subsequent work with patients. By treating mental…