A service which offers more support for patients with mild to moderate mental health problems has begun to operate in several GP practices across Clackmannanshire and Falkirk West.
In a move which is seen as just what the doctor ordered, a group of community mental health nurses are now providing appointments in local GP surgeries, offering support and treatment for mental health problems commonly treated in the GP Practice. This includes providing advice on how to improve physical and mental health, reviewing medication and offering psychological support.
Five primary care mental health nurses have been recruited initially and more will be employed over the coming months. They come from diverse backgrounds, including a mental health crisis centre in Lothian, a mental health resource centre in Falkirk, and one of the nurses has just moved back to Scotland after a year undertaking cognitive therapy training in East Sussex.
According to one of the newly appointed nurses, Varrie-Jane Muirhead: “The biggest challenge is raising the profile of the role we can play in primary care which gives patients with mild to moderate health problems easier access to services and allows early intervention.”