New guide to help cope with floods

THE Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has developed a general practice fact sheet providing useful information and resources to help with the impact of flood in relation to mental health.

GPs have been reported to be the most consulted group of health care professionals for people with mental illness, with 71 per cent of patients in Australia initially presenting to their GP.

The fact sheet contains key information about trauma and response to natural disasters, telephone counselling and help lines for patients, mental health services directly involving general practitioners and useful mental health resources for GPs needing support.

RACGP president and GP in Brisbane, Professor Claire Jackson, said it was important that GPs took good care in regards to the health of their patients, as well as their own mental health, during the coming weeks and months.

“GPs are most likely to be the first point of contact for patients experiencing mental health problems as a result of the floods,” Prof Jackson said.

“Hence they should maintain a high level of awareness for depressive and anxious symptoms when treating patients.

“Also, GPs who look after themselves will be better equipped to provide the best possible care to their patients and the wider community during this unprecedented disaster.”

For more information on the help available, go to www.racgp.org.au/disasterresources.



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