A guide to taking the first steps, making empowered decisions and getting the right support for you.
It's not always easy to start a conversation about your personal feelings with your GP – someone you may hardly know. And it can be especially hard when you’re not feeling well. But it's usually the first step towards working out what kind of treatment and support might help you.
Here are some things to consider:
"Being as open and honest as possible, even though extremely difficult, is what has assisted me."
GP appointments are usually very short, and if you’re feeling nervous you might forget to say things you think are important. Being prepared can help you get the most out of your appointment.
Here are some suggestions:
We've produced a brief leaflet to help you talk to your GP about your mental health. You can download it for free in English or Welsh from our Find the Words page here.
Everyone in England and Wales has the right to register with a GP and use their services. You don't need to provide a fixed address or show ID. If you live in England you can use the NHS online 'service search' tool for finding GP surgeries near you. If you live in Wales, you can find your nearest surgery by visiting the NHS Direct website.
When registering with a GP surgery, you might like to think about:
NHS Choices has a detailed guide on registering with a GP, including information on how to register if you are:
This information was published in December 2017. We will revise it in 2020.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.