Family physicians have important role in mental health care
Behavioral specialists spend a significant amount of time trying to gain their patients’ trust before these patients are willing to open up to them. Because of years of working together, family physicians have a unique, trusting relationship with their patients.
Dr. J. LeBron McBride, director of behavioral medicine at the Floyd Medical Center Family Medicine Residency located in Rome, Georgia, recently wrote an article to discuss the ways that family physicians can integrate mental health care for the betterment of their patients.
"The key is knowing when to refer if the problem goes beyond the family physician's expertise or ability to address, just like with severe cardiac problems," McBride said.
Some psychosocial health concerns are suitable to treatment recommendations from family physicians.
"In some places, psychiatrists and mental health providers are not present and the family physicians are trying to do what they can in difficult situations," McBride said. "I think most family physicians have an orientation toward incorporating the mental health care of their patients and have had to become the mental health providers in our health care system."