Long working hours are associated with increased alcohol use

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Sally Adams summarises a new BMJ systematic review and meta-analysis of working hours and alcohol use, which finds a link between longer working hours and risky alcohol consumption.

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Helping people with depression return to work

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Meg Fluharty reports on a new Cochrane review of interventions to improve return to work in depressed people. The review finds moderate quality evidence for a range of work-directed and clinical interventions that can help people with depression return to work.

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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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Brief interventions for substance misuse in primary care

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Claire Mokrysz reports on two RCTs in JAMA that find no superiority over control for brief interventions for substance misuse in primary care. A finding that casts some doubt on interventions such as motivational interviewing for unhealthy drug use in primary care patients.

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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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Peer support for perinatal mental illness: what makes a peer?

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Lucy Simons reports on a meta-ethnography that explores what facilitates peer support for perinatal mental illness. Her key finding from appraising the review is that women who experience perinatal mental illness need support from the right sort of peer (i.e. women who have had mental distress in the context of motherhood) to make the relationship beneficial and to aid recovery.

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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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Coproduction of secure mental health services: design, development and delivery

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Sarah Carr summarises a study of user involvement and coproduction initiatives in secure mental health settings, which recommends schemes that build alliances, garner mutual respect and support communication between staff and service users in shared forums.

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How can we improve mental health services for young people? Ask them

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Sarah Knowles appraises and summarises a thematic analysis of young people’s views of UK mental health services, which calls for greater involvement of young people themselves in redesigning services to be more engaging and accessible.

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Mental health support for older adults needs to improve

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Dave Steele summarises an NIHR funded mixed methods study that concludes we don’t know much about how we should support older adults with mental health problems, except to say that we should be doing better.

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