A GP surgery in Ludlow has extended its services by appointing an expert to help with people suffering from mental and psychological illness.

It is also claimed that the appointment will make it easy for people to get access to GP services and reduce the time that they wait for appointments.

Station Drive Surgery, Ludlow is offering a new service for people with difficulties coping with life's challenges.

A clinical psychologist is a doctor of psychology, trained in understanding the way the mind works and able to help people make sense of any difficulties they might have getting on in day-to-day life in order to look towards solutions.

It is estimated that one in four people will experience some kind of mental health issue in a given year.

Dr Laura Fisk has joined the team at the Station Drive Surgery.

"I work with all people of all ages, with all sorts of problems" said Dr Laura Fisk, the clinical psychologist offering the service.

"This includes people with all kinds of mental health challenges, people living with the burden of chronic health conditions and people struggling to adjust to unexpected life circumstances".

"I try to help people understand how they have got to where they have and work with them to come up with a plan for moving forward. I work with the great longer term therapy services Ludlow already has to offer by providing patients with the opportunity for a quick, comprehensive session exploring the problem and deciding on a plan of action.”

The first clinics have already been held at Station Drive Surgery, Ludlow.

Patients registered at the practice simply need to call the surgery to book in, letting the practice know that they would like to see the Dr Laura Fisk.

Appointments for Dr Laura Fisk are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9am-5pm.

"We feel this represents an excellent service for our patients – quick access to a doctor of psychology in the practice itself", said Dr James Harris, a partner at Station Drive Surgery.

Provision of the new service has been made possible as a result of a partnership arrangement.

"We can provide this pilot through collaboration with West Midlands Patient Access and South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust, supported by The Prime Minister's Challenge Fund," said Dr James Harris.

"Dr Laura Fisk provides a comprehensive assessment, brief therapy interventions and dovetails well with what is already on offer by signposting patients to other local services, where appropriate. We are really pleased to have her as a part of our team – working together to provide great care."

The appointment comes at a time of growing awareness of the importance of mental health and the size of the problem in an area of medicine that has long been something of a Cinderella.

It comes as there is increasing knowledge and awareness that problems such as depression and anxiety are an illness not a weakness.

The Government has also stressed that it wants more importance to be given to mental health issues.

Mental and physical health are often linked.

As well as being hugely debilitating mental health can be a killer. Suicide is the biggest killer of young men and there is a higher than average incident of people who work in farming and agriculture taking their own lives.