Improving services for people needing mental health support from GP practices

A project set up to examine the challenges facing GPs in supporting people from low-income communities with their mental health is entering its second phase.

The organisers of the DeStress Project ( are now looking for ‘community partners’ to help shape and deliver the training to GP practices.

Experience needed to be a community partner:

  1. A person with lived experience of seeking help and support from a GP for distress/mental stress caused by circumstance (either for themselves or close family/friends)
  2. Someone who lives within a community that is considered ‘resource poor’ and has an understanding of the challenges of seeking and accessing mental health support
  3. A willingness to share personal consultation experiences, views and thoughts with others, including health practitioners and academics
  4. A collaborative, sharing and ‘learning together’ attitude as an equal community partner with organisational partners
  5. Someone able to see the potential benefits that a GP consultation can have using the DeStress approach and is keen to influence change in current health practices for mental stress and over medicalisation.

What will it involve?

There will be a two-hour ‘train-the-trainer’ session on 16th November 2021 where all of the GP trainers and community partners will come together (online) to talk about the training content and learn how to deliver the training.

There will then be a follow-up session in November/December (hopefully in person) to further develop the training.

The training sessions will be delivered to 36 GP practices in January – October 2022. Each community partner will be asked to deliver the training to about 6 GP practices. The training might be delivered in person or online. Follow-up visits will also be scheduled between 3-5 months after the initial training is delivered.

Will your time be reimbursed?

There is £100 available for your time for attending the train-the-trainer session. For each GP practice that is delivered the training (+ the follow-up visit), there is £150 available for your time.

Focus groups

The project organisers are also looking for people who would be willing to attend a focus group. This would involve talking about your experience of having a low-income background and your experience of talking to a GP about mental distress that was related to this. The focus groups would last 1-2 hours and you would be reimbursed with a £25 voucher for your time.

How can you get involved?

If you are interested in becoming involved as a community partner or would like to know more, please contact Ilse Lee at .

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