Mental illness is more common than we might think – in any one year about 25% of the population experience a mental health problem.

Psychiatrists have completed their medical training, followed by specialist higher training in psychiatry. Following completion of their higher training they will go on to become Consultant grade, which usually takes at least 10 years. Because they have completed medical training they are able to prescribe medication, which Psychologist and Psychotherapists cannot.

Psychiatrists, with their deep and broad training, often take a lead role in establishing the strategic management plan for an individual patient, utilising their therapeutic skills to involve the patient and their patients’ families to develop a constructive pathway to recovery.

Psychiatrists diagnose and treat a wide range of mental health problems and conditions, including:

  • mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder
  • psychoses including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder with psychotic symptoms
  • eating disorders
  • anxiety disorders, panic and phobias
  • autistic spectrum disorders in adults
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • drug and alcohol abuse, including psychosis in association with substance use
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • organic disorders such as dementia, Parkinson’s Disease or effects of brain injury, for example
  • cognitive decline
  • personality disorders

In straightforward cases they may work individually with patients, particularly in the assessment and diagnostic process. For subsequent treatment they often  work as part of the multi-disciplinary teams within Healthcare On Demand , collaborating with colleagues, including Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Dietitians and others.

What to expect at your appointment:

  • Appointment length – The standard appointment is between 60 and 120 minutes long and this is usually long enough to reach a conclusion. Assessments for certain conditions and those with very complex situations may need extra time, we’ll discuss with you if we think a longer appointment might be helpful.

What to expect after your appointment:

Assessment report – Following your appointment, you will be sent a full psychiatric report, This may include responses to any questionnaires needed. The report will detail a diagnosis, where one is clear, and any treatment recommendations.

  • Prescriptions – If the Psychiatrist recommends a medication in the report, then you can ask your NHS GP if they will be willing to prescribe it. In our experience your GP will be likely to prescribe in most circumstances upon receipt of your Psychiatrist’s report, although they will often refuse to prescribe more expensive medications.
  • You may be recommended to see a Psychologist or Psychotherapist for further treatment. We can help arrange this treatment privately, within Healthcare on Demand or you may wish to be treated by the NHS.

Dr. Farida Yousaf is our Consultant Adult Psychiatrist.