SOS PRESENT TO GP MEETING – THEORY, PRACTICE OR BOTH
Each year the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) facilitate a number of events for GPs from all over Ireland. One such event is the Annual Winter Meeting. This year the Winter Meeting was held in the Sheraton Hotel, Athlone and attracted a GP audience of over 200. The meeting format is made up of a combination of workshops, key note speakers, lively debate and a plenary presentation on an important topic. This year the plenary part of the meeting focused on Mental Health. Suicide of Survive (SOS) were approached and invited to facilitate this one and half hour session.
SOS presentation on mental health and suicide was new, lively, helpful and relevant. The session was divided into subsections with the initial introduction delivered by a very expert Psychologist (Paula Lawlor). This set the scene in an evidence based manner and appealed to the more scientific members of the audience. It was grounded in good solid understanding of key mental health therapeutic approaches.
The second section was facilitated by the very able SOS Facilitator and MC (Robert Carley). This was a lively and entertaining trip into mental health issues and approaches that described typical patients and GPs perspectives. He is a valued advocate for the topic of mental health and is steeped in knowledge and insight.
Following the liveliness of his presentation SOS then changed gear and the CEO (Caroline McGuigan) was interviewed by Robert. The interview was sensitive and honest and the audience got a glimpse into a real life story from someone who has walked the walk. The silent attentive listing from the GP audience was testament to the person talking and respectful to the hurt and experiences shared. This interview brought the academic theory into practice and left the audience with food for thought.
Once again SOS changed approach and now presented some very useful and practical approaches that GPs can use in their everyday practice. The health continuum, for example, is both simple in nature and brilliant in application. The jar for positive motivational thoughts was another simple yet brilliant idea. They presented a number of simple approaches that all GPs can use and were generous in the give-aways to the audience. This included the printed version of the SOS wellness workshop.
An hour and a half presentation to a GP audience of circa 200 is no easy task. SOS presented at a high quality level, spoke directly to their audience, were relevant and evidence based and talked from the heart of the individuals and the organisation. The GPs present spoke very positively about their experience on the day were anxious to meet SOS staff following the presentation and some have followed up with invitations to present to GP trainees and local groups.
The ICGP are very thankful to SOS for facilitating this session and for bringing the topic of Mental Health and of
Suicide into discussions once again. GPs are key workers in this area and following this presentation they feel a lot more competent in talking about mental health and travelling the road with their patients. Of most importance – all GPs who attended got a lot from the presentation for themselves as well as for their professional work.