Sub-threshold mental health syndromes: finding an alternative to the medication of unhappiness

J Prim Health Care. 2009 Mar;1(1):74-7.


Sub-threshold anxiety and depression are common presentations in primary care. They carry a significant disability burden along with the risk of developing a frank disorder. Intervention options are limited, although there is some evidence that ultra brief interventions may be effective with this patient group. We argue that there is a need for a systematic but ultra brief, minimal contact intervention, that can be delivered by GPs or practice nurses. Such an intervention would be a form of facilitated self-management, a step up from self-help, from which people could be referred on to more intensive treatment or medication if required.

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Severity of Illness Index