About

Welcome to the Mental Elf

Does this look familiar?

This website will help you find just what you need to keep up-to-date with all of the important and reliable mental health research and guidance.

You don’t have to waste time looking at dozens of websites and articles every week.

Our team of mental health experts post updates every day with short and snappy summaries that highlight evidence-based publications relevant to mental health practice in the UK and further afield.

You can be the first to hear about key guidance, systematic reviews and high quality research and information.

No jargon, no misinformation, no spin, just what you need.

Who started the Mental Elf?

The blog was started by André Tomlin in May 2011. André’s an Information Scientist and has worked in mental health since the late nineties, formerly at the University of Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Mental Health and since 2002 as MD of Minervation Ltd an evidence-based healthcare consultancy based in Oxford.

After  2 very successful years of blogging as the Mental Elf, André decided to invite colleagues to join him as contributors to the site. It’s great to involve a wide range of people in this venture, to bring in a fresh perspective and their considerable knowledge and clinical experience.

Who writes for the Mental Elf?

We have an ever-expanding team of people who contribute to the site. The group includes senior clinicians, mental health professionals, journal editors, researchers, academics, students and information scientists:

Do you have an elf in you, fighting to get out?

Click on the little pointy eared fella to find out more about writing for the Mental Elf

  1. Clive Adams, Chair of Mental Health Services Research and Co-ordinating Editor of the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group at the University of Nottingham
  2. Sally Adams, Lecturer in Health Psychology at the University of Bath
  3. Lia Ali, Consultant Psychiatrist & Clinical Lead for Digital Health, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
  4. Eva Alisic, Psychologist and Research Fellow at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia
  5. Rachel Allan, Practice Leader for The Royal Mencap Society
  6. Steve Appleton, Managing Director, Contact Consulting
  7. Douglas Badenoch, Director of Minervation Ltd
  8. John Baker, Chair of Mental Health Nursing at the University of Leeds
  9. Vishal Bhavsar, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Training Fellow in Epidemiology, Institute of Psychiatry
  10. Helen Bould, Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Fellow at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford
  11. Amy Broadbent, Research Assistant, Cambridge
  12. Martin Brunet, GP from the Binscombe Medical Centre
  13. Lisa Burscheidt, Assistant Librarian at North East London NHS Foundation Trust
  14. Sarah Carr, Independent Consultant, Sarah Carr and Associates Ltd
  15. Brant Cebulla, Development Director for the Vitamin D Council in California, USA
  16. Emma Cernis, Research Assistant, Oxford
  17. Sarah Chapman, Information Specialist at UK Cochrane Centre
  18. Paul Christiansen, Lecturer at the University of Liverpool
  19. Nicola Coop, Assistant Psychologist
  20. Mick Cooper, Professor of Counselling, School of Psychological Sciences and Health, University of Strathclyde, Scotland
  21. Jake Crawshaw, PhD candidate at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King’s College London
  22. Ioana Cristea, Senior Assistant Professor at Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca and a Research Fellow at the University of Pisa, Italy
  23. Ian Cummins, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, University of Salford
  24. Caroline De Brun, Knowledge and Evidence Manager, Public Health England Knowledge and Library Services
  25. Ailsa Donnelly, Lay Chair of the PRIMER group
  26. Norah Essali, Medical student, University of Kalamoon, Syria
  27. Matt Field, Professor of Psychology at the University of Liverpool
  28. Meg Fluharty, Research Assistant, Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, University of Bristol
  29. Andrés Fonseca, Consultant Psychiatrist and CEO of Virtually Free
  30. Suzi Gage, PhD Epidemiologist at the University of Bristol & Blogger at the Guardian Science Network
  31. Amy Green, Academic Clinical Lecturer at the University of Bristol
  32. Amanda Harris, Psychologist and Director of the Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss & Grief Network
  33. Helge Hasselmann, Research Masters Student in Clinical and Cognitive Neurosciences at Maastricht University
  34. Simon Hatcher, Full Professor of Psychiatry at The University of Ottawa
  35. Jessamy Hibberd, Chartered Clinical Psychologist
  36. Kerrie-Anne Ho, PhD Candidate, University of New South Wales, Australia
  37. Mark Horowitz, Training Psychiatrist from Australia who is completing a PhD at King’s College London
  38. Maxine Howard, PhD student at University College London
  39. Samei Huda, Consultant Psychiatrist, Pennine Care, Manchester
  40. Liz Hughes, Professor of Mental Health at University of Huddersfield and South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  41. Alex Jarram, PhD student at University College London
  42. Sameer Jauhar, Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the Institute of Psychiatry
  43. Sam Jee, Research Associate at the University of Manchester
  44. Susie Johnson, Recent Graduate from Bristol University
  45. Andrew Jones, Post-doctoral researcher at the University of Liverpool
  46. Joe Judge, Clinical Psychologist, Hamilton Psychological Therapies Team, Lanarkshire, Scotland
  47. Eleanor Kennedy, PhD Student at Bristol Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, University of Bristol
  48. Patrick Kennedy-Williams, Trainee Clinical Psychologist & Doctoral Student, University of Oxford
  49. Sarah Knowles, Research Fellow, NIHR School for Primary Care Research
  50. Jennifer Laidlaw, PGY-5 Resident in Psychiatry, University of Toronto
  51. Alex Langford, Trainee Psychiatrist, South-east London
  52. Jennifer Lau, University Lecturer at the University of Oxford. Director of the Researching Emotional Disorders and Development (REDD) lab
  53. Keith Laws, Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychology at the University of Hertfordshire
  54. Kirsten Lawson, Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead for Liaison Psychiatry Services at Kent & Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership NHS Trust
  55. Colleen Loo, Professor of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Australia
  56. Maartje Luijten, Assistant Professor, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  57. Lucy Maddox, NHS Clinical Psychologist, Lecturer and BSA Media Fellow
  58. Sarah Man, Staff Nurse, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit
  59. Sammy Mann, Clinical Psychologist
  60. Joanna Martin, PhD Student at Cardiff University
  61. Olivia Maynard, Research Associate, Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group at the University of Bristol
  62. Iain McDougall, Specialist trainee in General Adult Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Belfast
  63. John McGowan, Director and Academic Director of the Clinical Psychology Training Scheme at the Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology, Kent
  64. Kate McLaughlin, Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington, USA
  65. Marcus Munafò, Professor of Biological Psychology at the University of Bristol
  66. Claire Mokrysz, PhD Student, University College London
  67. Josephine Neale, Trainee Psychiatrist in North London
  68. Rosalyn Nelson, Assistant Psychologist, North Wilts Memory Service, Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
  69. Nicola Newhouse, Researcher at Health Experiences Research Group, University of Oxford
  70. Claire Niedzwiedz, Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health at the University of Edinburgh
  71. Elly O’Brien, Information Scientist, London
  72. Andrew O’Shaughnessy, Consultant in Public Health in Bradford & Airedale and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Leeds
  73. Gozde Ozakinci, Health Psychologist and Lecturer in health psychology at the University of St Andrews
  74. Laurence Palfreyman, Assistant Psychologist in South London
  75. Christopher Pell, In-patient General Adult Psychiatrist at the Susan Carnegie Centre in Angus, Scotland for NHS Tayside
  76. Paul Ramchandani, Reader in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry & Deputy Head, The Centre for Mental Health, Imperial College London
  77. Matt Ravenhall, Final year Biology student at the University of York
  78. Shirley Reynolds, Director of the Charlie Waller Institute and Professor of Evidence Based Psychological Therapies at the University of Reading
  79. Abi Rose, Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Liverpool
  80. Emma Saddleton, Research Worker and part-time MSc student at the Institute of Psychiatry, London
  81. Christopher Sampson, Health Economist at the University of Nottingham
  82. Andrew Shepherd, Doctoral research Fellow at the University of Manchester and Higher Trainee in Forensic Psychiatry
  83. Lucy Simons, Research Fellow at NIHR MindTech Healthcare Technology Cooperative, Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham
  84. Mark Smith, IAPT Clinician working for Steps2Change and independent Psychotherapist Trainer
  85. David Steele, Junior Doctor with an interest in psychology, psychiatry and public health
  86. Caroline Struthers, Training Coordinator for The Cochrane Collaboration
  87. Rebecca Syed, Researcher, King’s College London
  88. Rupert Thurston, Junior Doctor working in General Adult Psychiatry in the West Midlands
  89. Caroline Tomes, Public Health Specialty Registrar currently working in Cambridge
  90. André Tomlin, Managing Director of Minervation Ltd
  91. Alison Turner, Head of the Evidence Analysis team within the Strategy Unit at NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit
  92. Raphael Underwood, PhD candidate at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London
  93. Kathryn Walsh, Research Associate at the University of Birmingham
  94. Michael Walton, PhD student at Manchester Metropolitan University
  95. Fiona Warner-Gale, Joint Director of Associate Development Solutions Ltd
  96. Andrew Watson, Clinical Research Fellow in Psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh
  97. Stephen Wood, Professor of Adolescent Brain Development and Mental Health at the University of Birmingham
  98. Fabio Zucchelli, Sport and Exercise Psychology MSc student

We’re adding to our network of writers all the time, so find out more if you’re interested in getting involved yourself.

Who decides what evidence is included on the website?

We scour over 400 databases, journals, websites and other feeds to bring you the best available mental health evidence.  Items are selected using an evidence-based inclusion criteria to ensure they are relevant to UK practice and based on high quality research, policy and guidance.

The selection process has no input from any external bodies, publishers, sponsors or commercial organisations.

We critically appraise the material we find using the CASP critical appraisal checklists.

Press coverage

Are there more elves for different health topics?

We are adding to our National Elf Service all the time.  Check out these other elves:

We are also working on a Child Elf, which we hope to launch in early 2015.

The Woodland is getting busier every year.

The Woodland is getting busier every year.

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André Tomlin

André Tomlin
André started the Mental Elf website in May 2011. He has worked as an Information Scientist in Mental Health since the late nineties; initially at Oxford University's Centre for Evidence-Based Mental Health and since 2002 as the Managing Director of Minervation Ltd. He loves blogging, tweeting and elfing! He also has established interests in evidence-based healthcare, usability testing, social media, coproduction and mHealth.

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