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Young people mainly visit their GP for mental health issues

Depression, anxiety, family conflict, suicidal thoughts and ADHD were the most common issues cited by young people to GPs in the Mid-West.

Image: ftelkov via Shutterstock

MENTAL HEALTH AND family conflict issues are the main reasons why young people visit their GPs in the Mid-West.

A study has found that depression, anxiety, family conflict, suicidal thoughts/behaviour and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were the most common issues cited by young people followed by substance abuse and antisocial behaviours.

The majority of the participating GPs from Limerick, Clare, and North Tipperary had encountered more than 250 such patients in the previous 12 months.

The research was carried out by the Centre for Interventions in Infection, Inflammation & Immunity, Graduate Entry Medical School in the University of Limerick.

Professor Colum Dunne, Director of Research, Graduate Entry Medical School said:

This study has shown that relatively large numbers of young people may not always be aware of, or able to access, appropriate health services.

Of the young patients who presented with mental health issues, 10 per cent were referred to specialist services, 4 per cent were referred to non-specialist services and the remainder were not referred to secondary care but were managed by the GP.

The GPs surveyed identified the need for improved access to dedicated youth services including counselling, psychology and psychiatry as barriers to effective care of young mental health patients.

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About the author:

Amy Croffey

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