NHS Help: Face to face

Many people go to their doctor, General Practitioner (GP), or a nurse for initial support when they feel low or anxious. 

  • How likely are you to seek mental health support from your GP or nurse?
  • If you have spoken to a GP or nurse, what has been your experience of that?
  • What improvements do you think could be made?

Why the contribution is important

It is important for us to learn about your experiences and ideas for improvements so we can make it easier for young people to get mental health support from NHS face to face services.

by ScotParlCEU on October 25, 2018 at 02:57PM

Current Rating

Average score : 3.0
Based on : 1 vote


  • Posted by e1058b November 21, 2018 at 14:50

    When I went to my GP, I had not told my parents about my mental health issues and was instead supported by my friend. At the time, I was really struggling to find support from anywhere (including guidance teachers at school) and so turned to my GP as an attempt to get some answers for the way I was feeling, and some plan for moving forward. Unforntately, my GP was less than helpful and at the time I felt like I was brushed off with some paper workbooks and leaflets that turned out to be inappropriate for the type and the level of support I needed. It was only when I started uni, and was able to access university services that I was able to find this support. Getting official diagnosis from my GP only happened after I began to access uni services.
  • Posted by ScotParlModerator November 21, 2018 at 16:41

    Thanks @e1058b, another very useful contribution, thanks for taking the time to get in touch with us. What was it about university services that made them more accessible than your GP or school's guidance teachers?
  • Posted by e1058b November 21, 2018 at 22:28

    I was able to self refer to the counselling services on campus. Once I had, I saw someone about a week later for an initial meeting and while there was a long waiting list after that, the relatively simple process assured me that I would eventually get the help I need. I was able to have counselling on campus at my uni, and when the onsite services couldn't support me anymore, the disability service and disabled students allowance helped fund use of external services. However, I am aware that others have found getting the same level of access difficult due to limited resources within the university counselling services. Also, at uni I found I had a named advisor of studies who is constant throughout your time studying. I don't mind speaking to them about my mental health issues, and between them and the univerisity disability services, I now have the strategies and provisions in place to support me through uni that I just couldn't have accessed at school.
  • Posted by endowarrior_x November 26, 2018 at 00:16

    When I went to the GP I hadn't told my parents the only person who was aware was my deputy head as she persuaded me to make the appointment. It was nerve wracking talking to the GP and admitted that there was a problem but she made me feel at ease and was understanding. She let me have the time to talk and put a plan in place, she sent me for bloods to check levels or if there was anything underlying like issues with hormones and decided to review me in two weeks. She went through strategies I could try like mindfulness, keeping a diary, talking etc. I was then referred to CAMHS but the wait was so long that I had to rely on my deputy head and GP for support. Unfortunately during that time my mental health deteriorated and they ended up having to contact CAMHS directly to see about getting an earlier appointment but overall the experience of support from doctors has been positive.
  • Posted by Muirhouse2611 December 06, 2018 at 15:51

    The group discussion about mental health support at Muirhouse Millennium Centre on Monday 26th November 2018 found that young people had found face to face support difficult to access with waiting times of at least 12 weeks and as high as 10 months for face to face counselling support.

    Some members of the group noted that their GPs have referred them to voluntary support services as they could not wait for support from the NHS.

    Some attendees had a negative experience with their GP who they described as “clock watching” and abrupt owing to the strict 10 minute appointment slots, which they felt was not enough time to adequately provide support.

    The group felt that receptionists at health practices were acting as gatekeepers and barriers to support and they made their health practice unwelcoming – especially for young people who have been brave and worked up the courage to get help, only to be knocked back at reception or passed from service to service.

    Young people with experience of access to Community Psychiatric Nurse support felt that the nurses should “up their game” as in their experience they only highlighted well known solutions like exercise and diet as opposed to meaningful dialogue and sign posting to therapies.
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