Black patients’ first contact with mental health services is more likely to be coercive


It is well documented that there are differences in how patients are treated, depending on their ethnicity. Previous inquiries in the UK have suggested that the NHS is institutionally racist (Blofeld et al, 2003). Some groups, for example those from African Caribbean or Aboriginal descent, experience more coercive care and poor outcomes, including higher doses of [read the full story...]

Suicide in primary care: findings of the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness


The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness was established in its current form at Manchester University in 1996. From 1991, prior to the move to Manchester, research in this area had been managed within the Royal College of Psychiatrists.  The NCISH has established an outstanding national and international reputation [read the full story...]

Is there ‘parity of esteem’ in shared decision making between physical and mental health?


Current health and social care policies determine that people who use services should have choice and control over their care and support. This is particularly important for people with mental health problems who are managing their mental health and designing support in preventative ways to avoid crisis. One way for mental health service practitioners to [read the full story...]

RCT compares two different versions of enhanced cognitive behavioural therapy for anorexia nervosa in an inpatient setting


A general misconception about anorexia is that it’s just about eating and ‘being thin’, but it’s more complex than that. The illness affects multiple aspects of a person’s life, and often goes hand in hand with other psychological issues such as low mood, or excessive worry. In addition, the jury is still out on the exact [read the full story...]

WEAVE RCT: GP training, but not screening, may benefit women who have experienced intimate partner violence


Behaviour within an intimate relationship which causes psychological, physical or sexual harm to either party is known as intimate partner violence (IPV). This violence is perpetrated by both men and women, but significant injuries are more commonly sustained by women. Consequently, IPV is a major public health concern as it contributes majorly to mortality in [read the full story...]

Mindfulness shows promise as treatment for health anxiety


Most of us care about our health (something we elves encourage) but for up to 5% of people, worrying about health has become a significant problem in itself. Severe health anxiety, or hypochondriasis, is said to exist when someone holds a strong fear of having a serious disease, despite all medical assurances to the contrary. [read the full story...]

Teaching GPs about depression and suicide can help reduce the risk of suicide in depressed older adults, says new RCT


A great deal of time and money has been spent on improving the diagnosis and management of depression and self-harm in primary care. The evidence tells us that collaborative care and case management can be effective approaches, which is all well and good, but these complex interventions are not always feasible. This new cluster randomised [read the full story...]

New RCT reports a promising primary care solution to diagnosing and managing postnatal depression


Postnatal (or postpartum) depression is moderate to severe depression that affects women just after they have given birth. It’s a relatively common illness, affecting 7-15% of childbearing women. Suffering from depression in the first few weeks of motherhood can have a significant impact, not just on the health of the mother, but also on her [read the full story...]

Escitalopram provides cost-effective remission from depression, according to new meta-analysis


I really enjoyed the discussion in the Guardian over the weekend about poor quality trials and pharmaceutical industry techniques that overhype their drugs in an attempt to shift units. Ben Goldacre’s new Bad Pharma book is well worth a read. New reviews about antidepressants come thick and fast and it’s often hard to know what [read the full story...]

More research needed to help patients with multimorbidities


Comorbidities are common in mental health and the relationship between physical and mental health conditions appears to be bidirectional. Having a chronic physical condition like diabetes can increase your risk of depression (by as much as 3 times). Having an enduring mental health problem such as psychosis can take 15-20 years off your life. In [read the full story...]