From the Irish Examiner: “The fact that GPs are the first port of call for people in distress is something I think we as a society need to question. Why do we encourage people in very low mood and typically with complicated mental and emotional struggles to seek help from a professional who has 10 to 15 minutes to try to alleviate their distress?
GPs are encouraged and trained as doctors to give proactive medical responses to states of distress within this 10–15-minute consultation framework.
Many GPs I speak with are frustrated because they understand the limitations of psychopharmacology, they recognise the need for a range of responses to human distress and they are mindful of the social and personal determinants of mental health – they deal daily with ordinary people trying their best to manage the ups and downs of life. This whole system needs rethinking and remodelling in order to avoid more and more people being inappropriately prescribed antidepressant medications for lack of alternatives – drugs that may be doing them more harm than good.”