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A service evaluation of self-referral to military mental health teams

Kennedy, Ian, Whybrow, Dean, Jones, Norman, Sharpley, John and Greenberg, Neil 2016. A service evaluation of self-referral to military mental health teams. Occupational Medicine 66 (5) , pp. 394-398. 10.1093/occmed/kqw044

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Background The UK military runs a comprehensive mental health service ordinarily accessed via primary care referrals. Aims To evaluate the feasibility of self-referral to mental health services within a military environment. Methods Three pilot sites were identified; one from each service (Royal Navy, Army, Air Force). Socio-demographic information included age, rank, service and career duration. Clinical data included prior contact with general practitioner (GP), provisional diagnosis and assessment outcome. Results Of the 57 self-referrals, 69% (n = 39) had not previously accessed primary care for their current difficulties. After their mental health assessment, 47 (82%) were found to have a formal mental health problem and 41 (72%) were offered a further mental health clinician appointment. The data compared favourably with a large military mental health department that reported 87% of primary care referrals had a formal mental health condition. Conclusions The majority of self-referrals had formal mental health conditions for which they had not previously sought help from primary care; most were offered further clinical input. This supports the view that self-referral may be a useful option to encourage military personnel to seek professional care over and above the usual route of accessing care through their GP.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0962-7480
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 May 2016
Date of Acceptance: 24 January 2016
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2021 16:33

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