On 6 December, the Institute for Mental Health hosted a panel discussion – #MyGPguide: How we can support young people talk to their GP about self-harm and suicidal experiences.
GPs are often the first and last healthcare contact for those who die by suicide, including young adults. However, many young people are concerned about talking to their GP about self-harm and suicidal experiences; others do not know what to expect from a GP consultation including what questions they might be asked; and how much they should share with their doctor.
#MyGPguide is an evidence-based resource designed by young people for young people with lived experience of self-harm and/or suicidal behaviour to prepare them for their GP consultation.
In this panel discussion, the group discussed the vital role of primary care in suicide prevention; highlighting how GPs can support young people at-risk of suicide.
Dr Anna Lavis (Chair)
Anna Lavis is a Senior Lecturer in medical anthropology working across the Institute of Applied Health Research and Institute for Mental Health at the University of Birmingham, where she leads a programme of work into relationships between mental health and social media. She has particular focuses on eating disorders, self-harm and suicide content online and she uses online ethnography to conceptually interrogate the meanings of ‘care’ and ‘crisis’ at the intersections of online and offline spaces. Anna also acts as an advisor to Meta (previously: Facebook/Instagram) regarding how to appropriately and sensitively approach these content forms.
Zaynab is a youth mental health advocate and expert by experience employed by Forward Thinking Birmingham. She has been in the Institute for Mental Health Youth Advisory Group for 2 years. Her lived experience encompasses psychiatric inpatient specifically psychiatric intensive care units and secure services, being in community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services for 9 years. Now Zaynab has 4 accolades in her name including a Diana Award and is a student at the University of Birmingham studying BSc Human Neuroscience with view to go to medical school to pursue psychiatry. She is a Lived Experience Advisor for the Wellcome Trust Psychosis Flagship. She wants to support the system that healed her.
Dr Sangeeta Mahajan
Sangeeta is mother to Saagar, a young man of 20 who died of a brief but severe mental illness seven years ago. She is a Trustee of the national charity for prevention of young suicide, Papyrus. In addition to being a mental health educator and activist, writer and public speaker, she supports families bereaved by the loss of a child.
Dr Maria Michail
Maria is an Associate Professor in the Institute for Mental Health, University of Birmingham where she leads an established programme of research on youth suicide prevention. She is the co-Chair of the International Association for Suicide Prevention Special Interest Group “Suicide Prevention in Primary Care”.
Dr Sohrab Panday
Dr Panday is a GP in Clay Cross, Derbyshire. Throughout his career Dr Panday has been passionate about mental health. He has a special interest in understanding and promoting the role of GPs management of people with suicidal ideas or self harm. Dr Panday has trained hundreds of Primary Care professionals in this subject throughout Derbyshire as well as being active strategically in regional and national networks.