Antidepressants, safety warnings and suicide risk in young people

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Andrew Shepherd reviews the recent controversial BMJ study that suggests the FDA black box warning about antidepressant use in young people, may have inadvertently caused an increase in suicidal behaviour. He finds it’s not quite that clear cut.

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Incredible Years Parent Training has a role in improving outcomes for all children

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Fiona Warner-Gale presents the findings of a meta-analytic review of the Incredible Years Parent Training programme, which is found to be effective at modifying disruptive and prosocial child behaviour. This evidence will be of interest to many, including policymakers, planners and practitioners.

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Kinship care may be a viable out-of-home placement option for maltreated children, but more research is needed

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Lisa Burscheidt reports on a recent Cochrane review that looks at the effects of kinship care versus traditional foster care for the safety, permanency and well-being of children removed from the home for maltreatment.

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Bullying and cyberbullying increase the risk of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in adolescents

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Bullying is just not good for you.  Here on Mental Elf, we’ve already picked some great examples of studies demonstrating this.  André blogged about how bullied children are more likely to develop psychosis, and how bullies are at higher risk for teen pregnancy, and not so long ago, I told you how Wolke et al demonstrated that [read the full story...]

Childhood nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking and psychotic experiences

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I was a terrible sleeper as a child. I remember lying awake on one particular occasion because I had read a book about space and thought that the sun might swallow up the earth. I was intrigued then, when I was asked to review a paper for the Mental Elf about parasomnias and childhood psychotic [read the full story...]

Approximately 1 in 6 children develop PTSD after trauma exposure

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How many children develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after a traumatic experience such as an assault, a car crash, war or disaster? William Yule, one of the godfathers of child traumatic stress research, once pointed out that rates reported in separate studies varied from 0 to 100%. So what is on average the rate [read the full story...]

New evidence on antidepressants and suicide risk in children and young people

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Major depressive disorder (MDD) is unfortunately a relatively common condition in children and adolescents.  Depression is estimated to affect 2% of pre-pubertal children and 5-8% of adolescents (Son et al, 2000). As you might expect, depression has a significant negative impact on the development, functioning and risk for suicide in individuals affected, as well as [read the full story...]

Could measuring cortisol levels become a biological test for risk of depression in adolescent males?

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Is it possible to work out which of two adolescents sitting before you complaining of unhappiness, which one will go home and sleep it off and which will go on to develop an episode of major depression? Has the biological revolution in psychiatry finally come to fruition with a useful biomarker for making treatment decisions? [read the full story...]

Moving to better neighbourhoods: bad for boys, good for girls?

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The link between external influences such as family and neighbourhood experiences and young people’s mental health outcomes has been extensively commented on in the literature. While it is more common for studies to focus on the individual or family level, looking at things from a wider perspective is interesting especially from a public mental health [read the full story...]

Longer adolescent duration of worry and low mood predicts problems in adulthood: suggests early intervention important

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Adolescent mental health problems are the cause of deep distress to hundreds of thousands of teenagers in the UK. Young Minds estimates that 850,000 children and young people in the UK have a diagnosed mental health problem, and many more may be suffering in silence.  Statistics on how likely it is that an adolescent with [read the full story...]