Welcome to the Mental Elf
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:
- Clive Adams, Chair of Mental Health Services Research and Co-ordinating Editor of the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group at the University of Nottingham
- Sally Adams, Lecturer in Health Psychology at the University of Bath
- Lia Ali, Consultant Psychiatrist & Clinical Lead for Digital Health, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
- Eva Alisic, Psychologist and Research Fellow at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia
- Rachel Allan, Practice Leader for The Royal Mencap Society
- Steve Appleton, Managing Director, Contact Consulting
- Douglas Badenoch, Director of Minervation Ltd
- John Baker, Chair of Mental Health Nursing at the University of Leeds
- Vishal Bhavsar, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Training Fellow in Epidemiology, Institute of Psychiatry
- Helen Bould, Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Fellow at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford
- Amy Broadbent, Research Assistant, Cambridge
- Martin Brunet, GP from the Binscombe Medical Centre
- Lisa Burscheidt, Assistant Librarian at North East London NHS Foundation Trust
- Sarah Carr, Independent Consultant, Sarah Carr and Associates Ltd
- Brant Cebulla, Development Director for the Vitamin D Council in California, USA
- Emma Cernis, Research Assistant, Oxford
- Sarah Chapman, Knowledge Broker at UK Cochrane Centre
- Paul Christiansen, Lecturer at the University of Liverpool
- Natasha Clarke, PhD Student at the University of Liverpool
- Nicola Coop, Assistant Psychologist
- Mick Cooper, Professor of Counselling, School of Psychological Sciences and Health, University of Strathclyde, Scotland
- Jake Crawshaw, PhD candidate at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King’s College London
- Ioana Cristea, Senior Assistant Professor at Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca and a Research Fellow at the University of Pisa, Italy
- Ian Cummins, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, University of Salford
- Caroline De Brun, Knowledge and Evidence Manager, Public Health England Knowledge and Library Services
- Ailsa Donnelly, Lay Chair of the PRIMER group
- Norah Essali, Medical student, University of Kalamoon, Syria
- Matt Field, Professor of Psychology at the University of Liverpool
- Meg Fluharty, Research Assistant, Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, University of Bristol
- Andrés Fonseca, Consultant Psychiatrist and CEO of Virtually Free
- Suzi Gage, PhD Epidemiologist at the University of Bristol & Blogger at the Guardian Science Network
- Amy Green, Academic Clinical Lecturer at the University of Bristol
- Amanda Harris, Psychologist and Director of the Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss & Grief Network
- Helge Hasselmann, Research Masters Student in Clinical and Cognitive Neurosciences at Maastricht University
- Simon Hatcher, Full Professor of Psychiatry at The University of Ottawa
- Jessamy Hibberd, Chartered Clinical Psychologist
- Kerrie-Anne Ho, PhD Candidate, University of New South Wales, Australia
- Mark Horowitz, Training Psychiatrist from Australia who is completing a PhD at King’s College London
- Maxine Howard, PhD student at University College London
- Samei Huda, Consultant Psychiatrist, Pennine Care, Manchester
- Liz Hughes, Professor of Mental Health at University of Huddersfield and South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
- Alex Jarram, PhD student at University College London
- Sameer Jauhar, Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the Institute of Psychiatry
- Sam Jee, Research Associate at the University of Manchester
- Susie Johnson, Recent Graduate from Bristol University
- Andrew Jones, Post-doctoral researcher at the University of Liverpool
- Joe Judge, Clinical Psychologist, Hamilton Psychological Therapies Team, Lanarkshire, Scotland
- Eleanor Kennedy, PhD Student at Bristol Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, University of Bristol
- Patrick Kennedy-Williams, Trainee Clinical Psychologist & Doctoral Student, University of Oxford
- Sarah Knowles, Research Fellow, NIHR School for Primary Care Research
- Jennifer Laidlaw, PGY-5 Resident in Psychiatry, University of Toronto
- Alex Langford, Trainee Psychiatrist, South-east London
- Jennifer Lau, University Lecturer at the University of Oxford. Director of the Researching Emotional Disorders and Development (REDD) lab
- Keith Laws, Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychology at the University of Hertfordshire
- Kirsten Lawson, Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead for Liaison Psychiatry Services at Kent & Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership NHS Trust
- Colleen Loo, Professor of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Australia
- Raluca Lucacel, PhD Student, Cluj Napoca, Romania
- Maartje Luijten, Assistant Professor, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
- Lucy Maddox, NHS Clinical Psychologist, Lecturer and BSA Media Fellow
- Sarah Man, Staff Nurse, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit
- Sammy Mann, Clinical Psychologist
- Joanna Martin, PhD Student at Cardiff University
- Olivia Maynard, Research Associate, Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group at the University of Bristol
- Iain McDougall, Specialist trainee in General Adult Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Belfast
- John McGowan, Director and Academic Director of the Clinical Psychology Training Scheme at the Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology, Kent
- Kate McLaughlin, Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington, USA
- Marcus Munafò, Professor of Biological Psychology at the University of Bristol
- Claire Mokrysz, PhD Student, University College London
- Akshay Nair, NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
- Josephine Neale, Trainee Psychiatrist in North London
- Rosalyn Nelson, Assistant Psychologist, North Wilts Memory Service, Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
- Nicola Newhouse, Researcher at Health Experiences Research Group, University of Oxford
- Claire Niedzwiedz, Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health at the University of Edinburgh
- Elly O’Brien, Information Scientist, London
- Andrew O’Shaughnessy, Consultant in Public Health in Bradford & Airedale and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Leeds
- Gozde Ozakinci, Health Psychologist and Lecturer in health psychology at the University of St Andrews
- Laurence Palfreyman, Assistant Psychologist in South London
- Christopher Pell, In-patient General Adult Psychiatrist at the Susan Carnegie Centre in Angus, Scotland for NHS Tayside
- Paul Ramchandani, Reader in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry & Deputy Head, The Centre for Mental Health, Imperial College London
- Matt Ravenhall, Final year Biology student at the University of York
- Shirley Reynolds, Director of the Charlie Waller Institute and Professor of Evidence Based Psychological Therapies at the University of Reading
- Abi Rose, Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Liverpool
- Emma Saddleton, Research Worker and part-time MSc student at the Institute of Psychiatry, London
- Christopher Sampson, Health Economist at the University of Nottingham
- Andrew Shepherd, Doctoral research Fellow at the University of Manchester and Higher Trainee in Forensic Psychiatry
- Lucy Simons, Research Fellow at NIHR MindTech Healthcare Technology Cooperative, Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham
- Mark Smith, IAPT Clinician working for Steps2Change and independent Psychotherapist Trainer
- David Steele, Junior Doctor with an interest in psychology, psychiatry and public health
- Caroline Struthers, Training Coordinator for The Cochrane Collaboration
- Rebecca Syed, Researcher, King’s College London
- Rupert Thurston, Junior Doctor working in General Adult Psychiatry in the West Midlands
- Caroline Tomes, Public Health Specialty Registrar currently working in Cambridge
- André Tomlin, Managing Director of Minervation Ltd
- Alison Turner, Head of the Evidence Analysis team within the Strategy Unit at NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit
- Raphael Underwood, PhD candidate at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London
- Kathryn Walsh, Research Associate at the University of Birmingham
- Michael Walton, PhD student at Manchester Metropolitan University
- Fiona Warner-Gale, Joint Director of Associate Development Solutions Ltd
- Andrew Watson, Clinical Research Fellow in Psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh
- Stephen Wood, Professor of Adolescent Brain Development and Mental Health at the University of Birmingham
- 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.
- Keeping up to date with mental health research. André Tomlin, The Guardian, 15th Apr 2013.
- Treating mental illness in the digital age. Pete Etchells, Discover Magazine, 13 Feb 2013.
- The Mental Elf. Royal College of Psychiatrists useful resources, eNewsletter, Sep 2012.
Are there more elves for different health topics?
We are adding to our National Elf Service all the time. Check out these other elves:
- The Commissioning Elf
- The Dental Elf
- The Diabetes Elf
- The Education Elf
- The Learning Disabilities Elf
- The Lifestyle Elf
- The Musculoskeletal Elf
- The Social Care Elf
- The Stroke Elf
We are also working on a Child Elf, which we hope to launch in early 2015.