Cyberbullying and mental health in young people

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Elly O’Brien summarises a recent US survey of adolescents, which investigates the relationship between cyberbullying, mental health and substance use problems, and the moderating role of family dinners.

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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...]

People who died by suicide are more likely to have been last discharged from a general hospital

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Suicide is a significant public health concern in the UK and globally. Recently it was reported that the UK male suicide rate in 2012 was 3.5 times that of women (Siddique, 2014). In 1981, when the data series these reports were based on began, the male suicide rate was 1.9 times that for women. However, overall [read the full story...]

Psychiatric illnesses and some chronic physical illnesses are associated with an increased risk of self-harm and suicide

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Last month, the Department of Health published the ‘Closing the Gap’ report, which highlighted the importance of better integration of physical and mental health care at every level. The report specifically flagged up the need for frontline services to respond better to people who self-harm, and cited statistics that emphasise the cyclical nature of the [read the full story...]

Do smoking cessation treatments increase the risk of depression and suicide?

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Smoking is a major preventable cause of morbidity and premature mortality throughout the world. There are an estimated 460,000 hospital admissions attributable to smoking in people aged over 35 every year, with an average annual cost to the NHS of £2.7 billion. Many strategies exist to help people give up smoking. The most common are [read the full story...]

How can we best prevent suicide in young people? More questions than answers

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Listening to a World Health Organisation podcast recently I learnt that someone dies as a result of suicide every 40 seconds; this equates to a million suicides each year. The podcast contains a myriad of such stark statistics and the contributors’ highlight how it is well established that young people are often at risk, and [read the full story...]

The largest ever study of self-harm in prisons: prevalence, risk, clustering and subsequent suicide

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New research published today in the Lancet shows that up to one in four women prisoners in England and Wales self-harm every year. The largest study of self-harm in prisons also reports that female prisoners are four times more likely to self-harm than male inmates. Previous systematic reviews have investigated self-harm in prisons (Lohner, 2007 and Dixon-Gordon, [read the full story...]

Identifying risk factors in first episode psychosis: results from two new meta-analyses

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A first episode of psychosis is a higher risk time for acts of self-harm and of violence, and a chance to engage people, modify risk factors and change outcomes. Two related meta-analyses by Large, Neilssen and Challis are presented in a letter in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.  They summarise two studies [read the full story...]

Lithium prevents suicide in mood disorders, according to updated systematic review

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Mood disorders include schizoaffective, dysthymia, rapid cycling, unipolar and bipolar disorders. People with mood disorders have a 30 times higher risk of suicide than the general population. Recent Mental Elf blogs have summarised the data on suicide risk and bipolar disorder, and shown that one key treatment is lithium which appears to have a robust evidence [read the full story...]

We ignore the rise of suicide in people with mental illness

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Despite public campaigns to combat stigma around mental illness, people with mental health problems still face ongoing discrimination. And while some sections of the media focus on mental illness in cases of violence, a rise in the number of people who are more of a risk to themselves goes unnoticed. We still find it difficult [read the full story...]