Promoting child mental health in primary health care

Runtime 00:33:45
Released 10/6/24
Emerging Minds Podcast
Emerging Minds Podcast
Promoting child mental health in primary health care

In any one year, approximately 80% of the Australian population will visit a general practice or primary health care setting. With many visiting more than once, there is ample opportunity for nurses, doctors and administrative staff to develop strong, trusting relationships with children and families.

When safe and collaborative relationships are established with families, practitioners find they are more likely to open up about difficult circumstances. Where there are worries about children’s mental health in a family, it is important that children and parents feel comfortable talking to health professionals about their concerns. Through working together, building relationships with families and tapping into their varied transferrable skills, primary health care clinicians are well placed to create an environment that fosters early conversations about child mental health.

In this episode, Nicole Rollbusch speaks with three primary health care practitioners, who share their experience of working with families to respond to child mental health concerns and the considerations for practitioners, from systems level to daily practice. Margaret Dempsey has been a registered nurse for 40 years, with over 25 years’ experience working in the primary health sector. She currently works with the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) using her wealth of expertise in program solutions. Dr Shereena Sinnayah, general practitioner (GP), and Jacinta Goldenberg, practice nurse, also join us on this episode. Shereena and Jacinta work within a group practice, where the whole team – medical and administrative – work together to provide care for families, building strong collaborations and continuity of care.

In this episode you will learn:

  • the role of primary health care nurses in child mental health [02:29]
  • current government primary health care reform initiatives [07:14]
  • the benefits of collaboration between primary health nurses and general practitioners [9:58]
  • how nurses and GPs are collaborating to promote child mental health in a general practice setting [16:04]
  • ways nurses and GPs can engage parents in preventative conversations about their child’s mental health [20:01]
  • how nurses and GPs exchange information when working collaboratively [27:44]

Further information and resources

Fact sheet: Emerging Minds practice positions
Guide: PERCS Conversation Guide
Online course: Supporting children’s resilience in general practice
Website: Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association [APNA]

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