Never underestimate the impact just being there listening to someone can make a huge difference... Sometimes we all need to feel there is someone there to support us in a time of vulnerability without fear of judgement or stigma.
I think this is something that new mums fear especially if they have a previous bout of mental illness. I've spoken to many ladies who have felt this way and some who actually went through postpartum psychosis.
For most of us, our local GP practice is the first place we go when we're unwell - whether it's related to our physical or mental health. That's why it's surprising to learn that less than half (46 per cent) of trainee GPs in England undertook a training placement in a mental health setting in 2015, according to data obtained from Mind.
Thinking of a solution to these concerns brings us back to how professionals need to treat people as people first. The same comes to therapy and treatment. Whilst research into evidence-best practice is vital in the immensely under-researched sphere of mental health, the biggest source of evidence as to what might work for any one person is the person themselves.
The primary role of GPs has always been, and will continue to be, to treat common medical conditions and to refer patients to hospitals and other services for urgent and specialist treatment. Whilst there have always been GPs who are interested in signposting patients to community-based social care and support services, they have tended to be in the minority.
This week we've seen lots of news about mental health - from claims that a blood test can predict responsiveness to antidepressants
Fundamentally I believe that we as patients must understand our responsibility to respect the free access we have to our GP, practice nurse, midwife or other primary care based professional. We expect their professionalism and access to them in a timely manner - it's not a lot to ask that we should also keep our side of the bargain too.
Why have physician associates when we already have practice nurses and advanced nurse practitioners - a feature that doesn't appear on the US primary care physician landscape? Creating yet another new position, is a distraction which we can ill-afford...
The NHS and the services it funds have been the biggest issue of this election throughout most of the campaigning period. In recent weeks it's been really positive to see and hear from voters who appreciate that the health system is up against it and want politicians to do something about it.
Just why do doctors retire early? After all the role of a doctor, to all outward appearance, would seem to be one to die for. There's the prestige to start with. And the money's not bad. The hours have certainly improved since the removal of 24 hour responsibility for patients in 2004...