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Primary care should make mental health priority

28th March 2006

Mental health should be a priority for primary care in the NHS, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has said.

The group announced yesterday in a statement that primary care organisations (PCOs) need to place greater emphasis on the treatment of mental health patients.

The statement highlighted the inequalities in provision of care between mental health and general health patients and offers guidance for doctors and PCOs to ensure that the gap is closed.

Particular emphasis is placed upon the understanding of mind-body links and patient participation.

"People repeatedly say that they want to learn how to manage their own problems for themselves as well as draw upon resources in the community," the RCGP claims.

The report goes on to say that the entire process of patient care needs to be looked at to ensure users receive the best possible care at every stage.

Mental illness is thought to account for over a quarter of the years lived with a disease globally.