The preceding health goals and targets focus mainly on physical illness and do not emphasise mental health. However, this area represents an enormous opportunity for anticipatory guidance. It includes the important problems of stress and anxiety, chronic pain, depression, crisis and bereavement, sexual problems, adolescent problems, child behavioural problems, psychotic disorders and several other psychosocial problems.
Time spent in counselling, giving advice, stressing ways of coping with potential problems such as suicide and deterioration in relationships is rewarding. GPs need to pay more attention to promoting health in this area, which at times can be quite complex.
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