An exploratory study of an inner city of Perth showed that most GPs accepted that they had a role in treating mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, which has a number of advantages. Some GPs undertook their own counselling but others believed that they lacked the appropriate skills and spoke of a need for more education at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The National Mental Health Strategy Project (1997) recommended that Communication and Consulting Skills should be reinforced at all stages of the medical course and that the knowledge and skills acquired should be relevant to the needs of generic medical practitioners. Notre Dame University Australia, Fremantle Campus has recently introduced a communication skills programme into the first year of the undergraduate medical student programme. This programme is based on a modification of the Cambridge/Calgary Programme and will continue throughout the second year so that the students in their third year clinical placements should be able to establish genuine rapport with their students.