Mental health support in primary care in Norfolk and Waveney

From November 2019 to March 2020, Healthwatch Norfolk ran an online survey to collect feedback on local residents’ experiences of mental health support in primary care. Participants could share their experiences of mental health support from their GP as well as provide their experiences of digital resources as support for mental health. This report outlines the survey findings.

Many respondents reported wanting more variety and choice of services – especially for specific issues such as bereavement, addiction, and LGBT+ issues. Notably, some respondents were open to referral from the GP to third sector organisations such as Mind.

People reported mixed experiences of GP attitudes towards mental health problems. While some said their GP was considerate and open-minded to treatment options, others said they were “just given pills” or told to “get on with it” without alternative options being explored fully.

Many felt the spent waiting for a mental health appointment after seeing their GP was too long and often stress-inducing, especially when there is little support available in the interim.

Somebody could have listened and could be there to help. Not here’s a leaflet, now go away and if you feel brave enough, you can give them a ring.

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