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  • Doctors seeing more mental health problems

    Author: AAP

The number of visits to doctors by Australians seeking help with mental health problems is on the rise, according to a report.

The number of Australians seeking help from GPs for mental health problems is on the rise, with depression and anxiety the most frequent problems presented to doctors, a new report shows.

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The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows almost 16 million general practitioner (GP) appointments were for mental health-related problems in 2012-13 financial year.

This accounts for 12.3 per cent of all GP encounters during the year, up from 11.7 per cent in the previous year.

While anxiety made up 16 per cent of consultations, depression was the most common problem presented, accounting for a third of the mental-heath appointments.

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Sleep disturbances made up 12 per cent of consultations.

Medication was the most common form of management of mental health-related problems, and antidepressants were the most commonly prescribed medication.

The report also shows there has been an average annual increase of 4.7 per cent in the estimated number of mental health-related GP encounters since 2008-09.

Copyright AAP 2014.

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