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

shutterstock_131840033

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

shutterstock_82765183

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...]

Can online fantasy games help young people overcome depression?

shutterstock_77231779

Computerised cognitive behavioural therapy is a popular topic for research at the moment. We’ve seen a number of systematic reviews and large scale trials published over recent years, but the vast majority focus on adults with depression, so it’s hard to know how applicable the results are to adolescents. Of course, most young people are [read the full story...]

Online CBT is an effective treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome in adolescents, according to small RCT

shutterstock_88733962

Existing trials have shown that cognitive behavioural therapy is a promising treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome. The availability of CBT is patchy, so there is an increasing body of research investigating whether internet-based treatment is a viable alternative. A new small randomised controlled trial conducted by researchers from the Netherlands has been published in the [read the full story...]

New meta-review of computerised cognitive behaviour therapy (cCBT) packages for depression

shutterstock_48995119 laptop happy man

Researchers from Nottingham University have published a meta-review that aims to evaluate the quality of existing reviews and to enable reliable comparisons of alternative computerised cognitive behaviour therapy (cCBT) packages for treating mild to moderate depression with or without anxiety. The reviewers conducted a systematic search and found 12 systematic reviews from 10 studies covering [read the full story...]

Self-guided psychological treatment has a small but significant impact on depression

Handsome college student working on laptop

Self-guided psychological treatment is where a patient works through a programme of treatment without the aid of a therapist or coach.  There are now many Internet-based treatments for depression and anxiety and there have been a number of good quality trials published during the last few years on self-guided psychological treatments for depression. There have [read the full story...]