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