Social determinants of mental health: how our societies are making us mentally unwell and what we can do about it

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Mark Horowitz summarises the new WHO and UCL Institute of Health Equity (Michael Marmot) report and research paper on social determinants of mental health. He concludes that it’s time to focus on the root causes of mental distress, namely poverty, unemployment, poor education and social isolation.

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Psychotherapy for UK military veterans: demographics and clinical outcomes

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Mark Smith reports on a study of psychotherapy for UK military veterans, using an IAPT service, which focuses on the demographic characteristics and clinical outcomes of early service leavers and veterans.

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Do perinatal mental health problems cost the UK £8 billion per year?

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A recent report estimated the societal cost of perinatal mental health problems to be £8 billion, but should we believe it? Chris Sampson advises caution.

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Mental health therapy for refugee and asylum seeking children: a small evidence base for a big problem

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Laurence Palfreyman considers the very small and mixed evidence base of mental health interventions for refugee and asylum seeking children presented in a well conducted systematic review from last year.

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Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy for all common mental health disorders?

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For his ninth Mental Elf blog, Mark Smith reports on a Cochrane systematic review of the effectiveness of short term psychodynamic therapies on common mental health disorders.

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CBT versus psychodynamic psychotherapy for social anxiety disorder: long live the dodo or time for a change in research emphasis?

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Andrew Shepherd appraises a study of the long-term outcomes of psychodynamic therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy in social anxiety disorder, which finds both therapies are efficacious in treating social anxiety disorder in the short- and long-term.

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Cyberbullying and mental health in young people

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Elly O’Brien summarises a recent US survey of adolescents, which investigates the relationship between cyberbullying, mental health and substance use problems, and the moderating role of family dinners.

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Reducing benzodiazepine prescribing in primary care

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Liz Hughes summarises two recent studies (1 systematic review and 1 RCT) that both investigate brief interventions for reducing the use of benzodiazepines in primary care.

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Lost in anxiety: treatment-resistant anxiety in older people

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Andrés Fonseca appraises a new systematic review of interventions for treatment-resistant anxiety in older people, which finds a disconcerting lack of evidence to help him support the many older patients he sees who are affected by anxiety disorders.

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How do we make a diagnosis? Screening tools for anxiety disorders

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Josephine Neale blogs about a systematic review of screening tools for anxiety disorders, which concludes that the GAD-7 and PHQ instruments are appropriate for use in primary care.

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