In Practice: What are the drivers of antidepressant prescribing?

Morgan Liotta

16/06/2022 2:38:44 PM

GPs have been invited to provide input on supporting best practice antidepressant prescribing behaviours in upcoming online focus groups.

Blister pack of antidepressant pills
A review has been commissioned to examine how effective current practices support mental health conditions, including GP antidepressant prescribing.

In this week’s In Practice, GPs can also find out more about upcoming conferences, legal aid workshops, and the success of CrazySocks4Docs day.
Invitation to review antidepressant prescribing behaviours
The Department of Health has commissioned Nous Group to undertake a review of the drivers of antidepressant prescribing behaviours, with a focus on children and adolescents.
The review seeks to understand:

  • what is in place to support best practice responses to mental health conditions and how it is working
  • the drivers of antidepressant prescribing
  • what updates could be made to therapeutic guidelines, training and the system response more broadly.
GPs are invited to participate in one of two online focus group in July, with approximately 10 participants per group, to provide input for this review. GPs who are taking time away from their practice to participate are eligible for reimbursement at $150 per hour, through an electronically provided Visa gift card.
Monday 11 July, 9.30 – 10.30 am, or Wednesday 13 July, 4.00 – 5.00 pm (AEST)
A Microsoft calendar invite will be sent for the nominated focus group.
Attendance must be registered by Friday 24 June to Angela Young and Samara Barchet.
GPADD22: Vulnerable populations
The General Practice and Addiction (GPADD) conference is a great opportunity to learn and network with GPs and other health professionals working in this area.
People with addiction or substance-use disorders are, by definition, often vulnerable. But this year’s conference will focus on treating populations that experience additional vulnerabilities that affect substance use, including the LGBTIQA+ community, refugees and asylum seekers, people experiencing homelessness, and those in custody.
GPADD22 is open to all GPs, New Fellows, GPs in training and others working in the alcohol and other drugs field with GPs.
Saturday 20 August, 9.00 am – 5.40 pm
RACV City Club, Melbourne 
Attendance is eligible for 40 RACGP CPD Accredited Activity points
Register online or find out more information in the online brochure.
Legal aids workshop for GPs
RACGP Victoria’s IMG Committee is presenting a hands-on legal aids workshop, focusing on:
  • how to manage complaints and deal with difficult patients
  • maintaining good medical records and telehealth
  • ownership of results and investigations, and the risks of corporatisation of care
  • report writing, WorkCover and TAC.
Participants will hear from experts and spend time working through case studies.
Saturday 30 July, 10.00 – 1.00 pm
RACGP House, 100 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne
Fees: Members $45.00 I Non-members $55.00
Register online.
CrazySocks4Docs day a huge success
In support of CrazySocks4Docs day, the RACGP Shop sold crazy socks to help raise awareness for doctors mental health, with all proceeds going towards Beyond Blue.
An amazing response from GPs across the country helped to sell 357 pairs of socks, allowing the college to raise $1940 for the Beyond Blue charity.
GPs have done it tough over the past two years, so it is more important than ever to look after each other and show support to those who are struggling.
The RACGP hopes CrazySocks4Docs day shed some light on the importance of checking in with colleagues and starting conversations about health and wellbeing, and thanks everyone who purchased a pair of socks, wore a pair of crazy socks, or shared a photo on social media at #CrazySocks4Docs.
The college has extensive self-care and mental health resources, or for confidential doctor-to-doctor telephone services visit Doctors’ Health Advisory Service.
New HPOS education resource
The Health Professional Education Resources Gateway offers a range of customised educational resources for healthcare professionals, with the new addition examining Health Professional Online Services (HPOS).
The new simulation, HPOS Fundamentals, provides:
  • an insight into setting up HPOS
  • an overview of key HPOS features
  • closer analysis of specific HPOS features.
HPOS is an internet-based portal providing a simple and secure way for healthcare professionals and organisations to do business with government online. It enables online self-service access to government programs, payments and services. GPs need a Provider Digital Access (PRODA) account to access HPOS.
Access to Services Australia’s full healthcare professional education catalogue is available online.
Services Australia is currently revamping its website, which will be launched later this year.
Any ideas or suggestions on how to improve the website, or feedback on a new educational product or existing resources, can be emailed to
Academic Post 2023 applications close 1 August
The Academic Post Program is an Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program for GPs in training to develop their academic skills through individualised learning plans, with support from training providers, universities and the RACGP.
The program runs for a 12-month term and gives GPs in training the chance to build skills in research, teaching and critical thinking, typically completed alongside clinical training requirements.
GPs in training are also encouraged to apply for the AJGP or AIDA specialised academic posts, if eligible.  
The RACGP has a range of resources to help prepare a successful application, including videos and checklists. Enquiries can be sent to
Are your dermatology skills only skin deep? 
The Certificate of Primary Care Dermatology has been developed to help GPs and GPs in training increase their expertise and confidence when presented with dermatological cases in their practice. 
Participants will learn to better understand and treat a broader range of common skin conditions (including skin cancer), as well as recognise the conditions that need an urgent referral. 
More information, including upcoming accredited CPD workshops (worth up to 80 CPD points), special savings and registration is available on the RACGP website.
Any further enquiries can be sent to
Participate in a research project
The RACGP is calling for expressions of interest in participating in a research project run by a fellow RACGP member. Current opportunities include surveys, interviews, focus groups and investigator-led clinical trials on a wide range of topics relevant to general practice.
More information is available on the GP research project noticeboard
Australian Patients Association (APA) – 2022 Awards
Nominations are now open until 30 June for ‘Most Outstanding General Practitioner’ in APA’s 2022 awards. More information is available on the APA website.
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newsGP weekly poll What area of medicine do you find most difficult to stay across the changing clinical evidence?

newsGP weekly poll What area of medicine do you find most difficult to stay across the changing clinical evidence?



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