Patients with mental health issues present frequently in primary care and their consultations are often more challenging and time-consuming than those involving physical illness. For many patients there remains a significant stigma associated with mental ill-health and overcoming this adds further complexity to the consultation.
Improving the Mental Health Consultation provides a simple ‘short circuit’ tool to help GPs and other healthcare professionals to explain mental health problems simply and effectively to their patients. The tool is straightforward, easy to convey within the confines of a 10-minute consultation and extremely effective in helping to break down the stigma that patients often feel.
The tool has been developed and refined during over ten years of consultations in primary care. The detailed explanations of how to use the tool during the consultation, along with the extensive case studies, will help you to improve your mental health consultations and so help your patients deal better with their diagnosis.
From anxiety to OCD and chronic fatigue to fibromyalgia, the book also provides detailed coverage of diagnosis and classification using ICD-11 and DSM-IV, and management using the latest NICE guidelines.
Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 Mental health – the issue and a solution
1.2 The global Covid-19 pandemic
Chapter 2 The short circuit theory
2.1 The 'short circuit' as a description of mental health disorders
2.2 The symptoms of the short circuit
2.3 The problem of insight
2.4 The three Ps: personality, pressure and pathology
2.5 The three Ps: patient assumptions vs. actual cases
Chapter 3 The short circuit as a tool: a practical approach
3.1 Mental health problems
3.2 When to use the short circuit tool
3.3 Using the short circuit tool in a consultation
3.5 Worked examples
Chapter 4 Mental illnesses in detail
4.1 Focus on anxiety
4.2 Focus on depression
4.3 Focus on OCD
Chapter 5 Physical illness with mental health connections
5.1 Focus on physical symptoms
5.3 Irritable bowel syndrome
5.4 Chronic pain syndrome
5.5 Chronic fatigue syndrome
Chapter 6 Treating the patient
6.1 Treating the patient
6.2 Treatment modalities
6.3 Dealing with pressure
6.4 Cognitive behavioural therapy
6.5 Pharmacological treatments
Chapter 7 Summary
This book introduces a new consultation tool 'The Short Circuit' and makes a bold claim for it. But I think the author might be right: ‘Helping a patient understand a complex concept in a short time is difficult...[using this tool] your consultations will become quicker and more rewarding and the patient will be able to overcome any stigma leading them to a healthier understanding of mental health and able to engage better with any treatments.’ The style of the book is accessible and engaging and draws on the author's experience as a GP … As such it is forged in the fire of rapid-paced frontline care for patients, but brings a thoughtful, reflective response. Please read it. Your patients will benefit and, quite possibly, you will too.