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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Primary Care Mental Health

Edited by Linda Gask, Helen Lester, Tony Kendrick and Robert Peveler

Price: £35.00

Members' discount available

Published: Oct 2009

Format: Hardback

Number of pages: 512

ISBN: 9781904671770

Primary Care Mental Health

Primary care is usually the first port of call for people with mental health problems and plays an increasingly important role in developing and delivering mental health services. Indeed, 90% of all patients with mental health problems (including 30–50% of all those with serious mental illness) only use primary care services.

How can practitioners in primary care best respond to psychiatric presentations? In this book, internationally respected authors provide a conceptual background and dispense practical advice for the clinician. They discuss ways of improving joint working between primary and secondary care, as well as issues affecting the professional development of all practitioners within primary care teams.

Key features:

  • Practical advice
  • Focus on improving services
  • Critical analysis of the emerging evidence
  • A user-centred approach, emphasising recovery
  • Educational strategies to develop knowledge and skills of the primary care team.

Readership: General Practitioners (GPs) and all medical practitioners and managers in primary care.

About the editors:
  • Linda Gask provides consultant input to a primary care mental health service. Her teaching, research and clinical interests lie in improving the quality of care for common mental health problems.
  • Helen Lester has a particular interest in the physical and mental healthcare of people with serious mental illness, the concept of recovery in primary care, and service-user involvement.
  • Tony Kendrick has published extensively on the primary care of depression, schizophrenia and eating disorders. His work has been influential in the development of good practice guidelines and quality indicators in the UK for the management of severe mental illness and depression.

  • Robert Peveler conducts research on medically unexplained physical symptoms, depression in primary care, self-care in chronic disease, and eating disorders. His clinical work is focused on general hospital liaison psychiatry, especially fatigue and pain.


Part I: Conceptual basis and overarching themes

1. What is primary care mental health?

2. Mental health and primary healthcare: an international policy perspective

3. The epidemiology of mental illness

4. A sociological view of mental health and illness

5. The service user perspective

6. Low- and middle-income countries

7. Diagnosis and classifi cation of mental illness: a view from primary care


Part II: Clinical issues

8. Depression

9. Suicide and self-harm

10. Anxiety

11. Medically unexplained symptoms

12. Mental health problems in older people

13. Perinatal mental health

14. Child and adolescent mental health

15. Psychosis

16. Emergencies in primary care

17. Substance misuse

18. Management of alcohol problems

19. Eating disorders

20. Physical health of people with mental illness

21. Ethnic minorities

22. Asylum seekers and refugees

23. Sexual problems


Part III: Policy and practice

24. Mental health promotion

25. Improving the quality of primary care mental health: what does and does not work?

26. Psychological treatments

27. Collaborative care and stepped care: innovations for common mental disorders

28. The role of practice nurses


Part IV: Reflective practice

29. Teaching and learning about mental health

30. Undertaking mental health research in primary care

31. Individual treatment decisions: guidelines and clinical judgement

32. Self and others: the mental healthcare of the practitioner


Epilogue: Racing pigeons and rolling rocks: reflections on complex problems in primary care

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Winner of the Primary health care category of the BMA Medical Book Awards 2010

Prof Lester (on the left) being presented the First Prize at the Awards ceremony, Sep 2010Prof Lester being presented the award





BMA Medical Book Awards“This is a source of informed practical advice on a wide variety of mental health issues encountered in primary care. It avoids going in too much depth but lays out important considerations in diagnosis and management. The book is a clearly laid-out, easy-to-read and is especially useful for providing sign posts to electronic and other resources some of which can be used by patients. It is a good introduction to and overview of mental health issues in primary care.”

BMA Medical Book Awards 2010 Programme and Awards winners brochure


Winner of the Primary health care category, BMA Medical Book Awards 2010