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Training GPs in mental health

17th September 2018

More than 40 General Practitioners (GPs) met in Yungaburra recently (7-8 September) to expand their skills in treating mental health conditions.

Workshop presenter, Dr Mary Emeleus said GPs gained an insight into how they could effectively treat patients in rural areas.

“GPs with skills in mental health can offer brief counselling interventions themselves and make better informed decisions about medications and referrals,” she said.

“It is particularly important in regions where there are not many mental health specialist providers.”

Medical Educator with James Cook University (JCU) in Atherton, Dr Aaron Hollins, said the Tablelands is a great setting for workshops of this kind.

“GPs and GPs in training are ideally placed to ask about, to diagnose and then to treat mental health conditions. This workshop has enabled GPs to increase their skills in this area,” he said.

The training was supported by JCU through its GP training program, Generalist Medical Training and delivered by the Australian Society for Psychological Medicine (ASPM).

Presenters included GPs Dr Johanna Lynch and Dr Mary Emeleus, and credentialed Mental Health Nurse Dr Richard Lakeman.

The participants were from all over Queensland and enjoyed meeting colleagues and experiencing support from each other in what can sometimes be challenging work.



Image 1: Medical Educator Dr Aaron Hollins with some of the registrars from the workshop. Left to right: Dr Kirsty McKenzie (Mareeba), Dr Gene Walker (Malanda), Dr Linda Abenthum (Mareeba/Kuranda), Dr Franny Sydney Suthanthiran (Atherton), Dr Fouzia Kashem (Atherton), Dr Aaron Hollins (JCU, Atherton), Dr Naeem Noor (Mount Isa).

Further information

Tania Torrisi - JCU GP Training Team Leader, Tablelands region / 0437 283177

Tianna Graham – Communications and Engagement JCU College of Medicine and Dentistry / 0428 442 633


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