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Black Dog Institute offers mental health care training for GPs

23rd April 2024

According to the 2023 Health of the Nation report, 38% of general practice consultations in a typical week have a mental health component, while 72% of GPs report that mental health is the leading reason that patients present to be seen*.

Designed to support GPs in transition to rural general practice, RDN’s New Rural GP Orientation (NGPO) workshop held recently in Port Macquarie featured a presentation from Dr Jan Orman of the Black Dog Institute about Mental Health.

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Dr Orman told RDN, "I find it exhilarating talking to doctors who are new to the Australian general practice environment because they are open to the idea that mental health is part of their job and are open to the idea of upskilling in order to help members of the community – not just with mental illness but also with psychological distress, who come to see them for help with their troubles.”

Dr Orman is passionate about mental health care, believing that managing mental health better in a general practice environment can take a load off the specialist services.

Black Dog Institute delivers numerous mental health training courses designed specifically for GPs and each one focuses on a common mental health complaint GPs are likely to encounter in their day-to-day practice.

Courses include Dealing with Depression, Dealing with Anxiety Disorders, Talking about Suicide in General Practice, and the ABC of CBT: Skills for GPs, which are all accredited by the RACGP and ACRRM.

In the presentation prepared for new rural GPs at Port Macquarie, Dr Orman addressed such topics as well as some local cultural aspects. “People have got to be able to communicate in General Practice, so understanding the vernacular and the way Australians communicate is a really big part of what these new GPs have got to learn,” she said. 

“Not everything about our culture is written down in a book for people to learn and… whatever the culture is you are working in, you need to be a part of it, knowing about the differences without judgment.” 

Find out more:

Visit the Black Dog Institute website to explore the Institute’s GP training offerings, or contact education@blackdog.org.au to learn more.

RDN conducts a number of NGPO workshops to support new rural doctors each year. The next event will take place in Parkes on 25 and 26 July. Watch for news of upcoming NGPOs and other events in our Monday Message news email. 

Reference RACGP*


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