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We describe here an innovative scheme in general practice that provides a work-base environment for student counsellors with funding for counselling supervision and co-ordination.
The reported mental health prevalence rate in the UK among the general population is 23%. Only 76% of the above population visit a general practitioner, and of these only 44% will be diagnosed. Patients that present depressive symptoms, for example, are not always identified, and yet there is an increased recognition of the need for early diagnosis. There is little or no National Health Service (NHS) funding for counselling services in many areas of England. The training received by general practice registrars, to appropriately assess mental health problems within a typical consultation, has been the focus of a long-standing debate.
This study outlines the proposed counselling model and presents some preliminary feedback on the patient outcomes achieved.
Results and Conclusion
The provision of a training environment for counsellor students is an option for increasing access of patients to counselling under the NHS.
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