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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 1639-1643

Managing mental health problems in a family and community setting: Reflections on the family physician approach and Re-imagining psychiatric education

1 Primary Care Psychology Fellow, PCMH Restore Health, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Director and Founder, AVEKSHA- Home Based Primary Care, PCMH Restore Health, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
3 Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner & Co-Founder, AVEKSHA- Home Based Primary Care, PCMH Restore Health, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
4 Family Physician and Mentor, Academy of Family Physicians of India (Karnataka Chapter), Bangalore, Karnataka, India
5 Founder and Director, PCMH Restore Health, Bangalore, Karnataka, India & Chair, AFPI National Centre for Primary Care Research and Policy, India

Correspondence Address:
Ms. Swaathi Balasubramanian
PCMH Restore Health, #20/7, 2nd Main Road, Seshadripuram, Bangalore, Karnataka - 560 027
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1236_20

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Family Medicine is unique in that it recognizes the central role of the patient's context and the interplay of family dynamics, social relationships, cultural background, and economics in the causation and presentation of any illness and the response to any given treatment. While this is true across the board, it is particularly true of mental health.[3] In this article, using a selection of stories from our daily practices as family physicians, we: (1) reflect on the role of family physicians in addressing mental health needs in the community; (2) contrast between a disease-oriented (specialist approach) and a person-oriented (family physician approach); and (3) suggest a course correction to the existing model of mental health education for both generalists (such a family physicians) and specialists (such as psychiatrists). We conclude that Family Physicians have an extremely important role to play in the promotion of mental well-being and the management of mental illness in the community. Additionally, we highlight several unique facets of the family physician approach that tends to be less disease oriented and more patient-centric. Lastly, we suggest the need for mental health training to occur in the family practice context in the community. Mandatory representation of practicing family physicians on the National Medical Commission (NMC) will facilitate the above.

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