Abstract

Of 250 patients newly referred to the mental illness services of South Manchester, almost two-thirds were referred directly by their GPs; a further third were referred by hospital doctors. Non-medical sources of referral accounted for only 2% of new cases. Patients with somatic problems had the longest interval between seeking care and referral to the psychiatric services. Being employed was associated with a longer delay before seeking care; among women, those living with their husbands or children had longer total intervals between the onset of the problem and arrival at the psychiatric services.