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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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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Childhood abuse and adverse life events interact synergistically to produce a high risk for psychotic experiences

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This recent study concludes that childhood abuse creates an enduring vulnerability to psychosis that is realised in the event of exposure to further stressors and risk factors, such as separation, bereavement, or being involved in an accident or physical attack.

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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…]

Crisis, what crisis? EU-wide data shows negative impacts of the recession on people with mental health problems

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The effects of the global stock market crash of 2008 have not just been economic. The health and social consequences of the financial crisis are becoming clearer over time and were anticipated by public health academics early on. Based on a 30 year review of EU data on how economic changes affect mortality, in 2009 [read the full story…]

Illicit drug use: personality and poverty

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A considerable amount of research has attempted to shed light on the key antecedents of drug use. The role of personality traits, in particular, has been explored in great detail; indeed the idea of “the addictive personality” has often been discussed. Although we elves feel that the addictive personality is a simplification of a much [read the full story…]

Targeted mental health support can improve borderline-clinical behavioural problems in children

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The statistic that one in four adults in Britain will experience a mental health problem in any given year is well known (if still debated), but a recent report by the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition revealed a lack of such statistics for children. The report also highlighted that Office for National Statistics [read the full story…]

The cost of living? Early childhood interventions could reduce the impact of socio-economic inequalities on the mental health of children and young people

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In the current economic climate in many countries across the world, the impact of socio-economic inequalities on mental health has become an important topic, not only in terms of supporting people, but in terms of planning a public health response to a rising concern. Poverty and low economic status is known to affect various aspects [read the full story…]