Home > Educational interventions: equipping general practice for youth mental health and substance abuse. A discussion paper.

O'Regan, A and Schaffalitzky, Elisabeth and Cullen, W (2015) Educational interventions: equipping general practice for youth mental health and substance abuse. A discussion paper. Irish Journal of Medical Science , 184 , (3) , pp. 577-582.

Youth mental health issues and substance abuse are important causes of morbidity and mortality in Ireland. General practice is a frequent point of contact for young people, however, reluctance amongst this population group to disclose mental health issues and a lack of confidence amongst GPs in dealing with them have been reported. Focussed training interventions with formal evaluation of their acceptability and effectiveness in achieving learning, behavioural change and impact on clinical practice are needed.

This paper aims to examine the literature on general practice in youth mental health, specifically, factors for an educational intervention for those working with young people in the community.

This review paper was carried out by an online search of PubMed on the recent literature on mental health and on educational interventions for health care workers in primary care.

A number of papers describing educational interventions for GPs and primary care workers were found and analysed. Key areas to be addressed when identifying and treating mental health problems were prevention, assessment, treatment, interaction with other services and ongoing support. Important elements of an educational intervention were identified.

Several barriers exist that prevent the identification and treatment of these problems in primary care. An educational intervention should help GPs address these issues. Any intervention should be rigorously evaluated.

With the shift in services to the community in Irish health policy, the GP with appropriate training could take the lead in early intervention in youth mental health and addiction.

Item Type:Article
Page Range:pp. 577-582
Accession Number:HRB (Available)
Subjects:G Health and disease > State of health > Mental health
G Health and disease > Substance use disorder > Drug use
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Prevention by sponsor or setting
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care programme or facility > Community-based treatment (primary care)
T Demographic characteristics > Adolescent / youth (teenager / young person)
T Demographic characteristics > Doctor
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

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