Online and social networking interventions for depression in young people


Nikki Newhouse reports on a recent systematic review that brings together 22 studies which investigate a range of online CBT and social networking interventions designed to help young people with depression.

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Do mental health websites improve help-seeking in adolescents?


Maxine Howard summarises the findings of a recent review of online mental health services for young people, which finds little evidence to suggest that websites increase help-seeking in adolescents.

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Internet-based interventions for harmful drinking show small beneficial effects


Andrew Jones summarises a recent meta-analysis on the effectiveness of guided and unguided low-intensity Internet interventions for adult alcohol misuse.

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Internet-based alcohol and cannabis prevention: Climate Schools and salami slicing


Matt Field summarises the findings of a recent cluster RCT that uses internet-based prevention (an Australian programme called Climate Schools) to reduce alcohol and cannabis use, truancy, psychological distress and moral disengagement.

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We all know that the Internet can be a dangerous place for people with eating disorders, but can it also help them get better?


Chances are you’ve heard of the internet. Unless you’re reading this after it’s been transcribed onto some parchment and brought to you by a psychologically-interested crow in which case you’ve got some further research to do. In terms of eating disorders, most people may associate the internet with those ghastly pro-anorexia sites which for reasons [read the full story...]

A practical guide to social media in mental health practice

Doctor reading iPad

This new 30-page guide (PDF) is a must read for any health and social care professionals who are thinking about getting more involved with social media. Twitter remains a terrifying prospect for many professionals working in health and social care, but in my experience it’s very rare for someone to actually give it a go, [read the full story...]

Health Technology Assessment report finds computer and other electronic aids can help people stop smoking

Crushing cigarette packet

Smoking continues to be the greatest single preventable cause of premature illness and death in developed countries. Although rates of smoking have fallen, over 20% of the adult population in the UK continues to smoke. Anything which can be done to help people stop smoking will therefore have substantial public health benefits. More and more [read the full story...]

Cost-effectiveness of internet-based interventions for harmful drinking

Heavy drinking gentleman

The World Health Organisation (WHO) considers harmful drinking as the third largest contributor to the Global Burden of Disease, an index of disability, poor health and mortality. The majority of people who suffer from alcohol use disorders do not receive any treatment, due in part to lack of access. One way of increasing the availability [read the full story...]

Clinicians should consider referring depressed patients to Internet Support Groups, according to new RCT


It can be incredibly difficult to talk about mental health conditions like depression, both for the person going through the illness and the friends and family who are trying to offer support. We know that overcoming this fear and talking through mental health problems can be a real life-saver and this message runs through the [read the full story...]

Check out the new BITE-sized mental health summaries from the NIHR CLAHRCs

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 09.09.50

Anyone who’s spent any time at all on the Mental Elf website, or any of the other National Elf Service sites, knows that we elves love succinct and focused summaries that are easy to read and quick to digest. It’s always a delight to see other groups publishing similar resources, so I’ve decided today to [read the full story...]