Professor Clare Gerada, medical director for the scheme, told GPonline the influx of GPs seeking help had been expected, as they previously had nowhere to turn when they were struggling with mental health, addiction or burnout issues.
Any GP or GP trainee across England can contact the free, confidential service for advice, support and treatment.
The GP Health Service can help GPs with:
- Common and more complex mental health conditions
- Mental health conditions relating to a physical health issue
- Substance misuse including support for community detoxification
- Rehabilitation and support to return to work after a period of mental ill-health
It was launched after securing £19.5m funding over the next five years as part of the GP Forward View.
The GP Health Service is also launching sessions on preventing burnout among GPs, which will begin with a pilot scheme in York on Saturday 11 February.
This day-long session will be split into two parts, focusing first on how to maintain wellbeing as doctors before looking at how groups – such as reflective group practice and Balint group work – can be used to improve working practice.
Professor Gerada said: ‘As expected we are seeing an early surge. This would be expected as there is a lot of unmet need.
‘I am reluctant to give numbers at this stage as it's still small numbers relatively speaking and I don't want people who have contacted us to feel exposed.’