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


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...]

We ignore the rise of suicide in people with mental illness


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...]

A Reasoning and Rehabilitation programme reduces verbal aggression and improves problem solving in offenders with psychosis

Stop aggression

Here at the Mental Elf we are always on the look out for research that extends trials into new areas, and offers practical benefits to people recovering from mental illness. Within psychiatric wards violence and challenging behaviour can be extremely distressing, with a 2007 Healthcare Commission report finding that over half of staff and almost half of [read the full story...]

Are you really at risk of attack by someone with schizophrenia?

Do not cross

By Rebecca Syed, King’s College London.  A violent attack by someone who is mentally ill quickly grabs the headlines. And it’s usually implied that mental illnesses are a preventable cause of violent crime. Tackle that and we can all sleep safer in our beds. But by pressuring mental health services to focus on the risk [read the full story...]

People with disability are more likely to be victims of violence and to suffer mental illness as a result


In the UK over 10 million people live with a disability, many of whom suffer from violence (Department for Working Pensions, 2011). A recent World Report on Disability by WHO (2011) highlighted that people living with disabilities are at  risk from sexual and physical violence. Despite this, little is known about who is at risk [read the full story...]

New meta-review highlights the best approaches for preventing violence in young people

Young man with shot gun

The WISQARS Leading Causes of Death website is a mine of information for researchers and bloggers alike. I searched it to find out what the leading causes of death are for people (all races, both sexes) in the US aged 10-24 years. The top three in 2010 were: Unintentional injury (e.g. road traffic accidents, poisoning, [read the full story...]

New review confirms the strong association between criminal history and violence risk in psychosis

Net curtains

What’s the relationship between violence and psychosis? It’s an emotive debate that’s been running for years. On the one hand we have the net curtain-twitching, tabloid-reading brigade who picture axe-wielding psychopaths as soon as they read the word schizophrenia. On the other we have patients, carers, mental health charities and many clinicians who claim that [read the full story...]

CBT and other psychotherapies can help children with PTSD in the short-term, but more evidence is needed according to Cochrane


Nearly a year ago I blogged about a promising but small RCT, which showed that Trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy may help young children with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The blog generated a fair bit of feedback from readers and so I’ve been on the look out ever since for a systematic review that brings [read the full story...]

A public health approach to violence prevention: new report from the Department of Health


The Department of Health have commissioned the North West Public Health Observatory (NWPHO) to produce a high level report to provide information and evidence for policy makers, public health staff and commissioners to use in developing preventative approaches to violence. The report entitled ‘Protecting People, Promoting Health – A public health approach to violence prevention [read the full story...]

Repeat offending significantly higher in people with personality disorders, according to new systematic review


The excellent Time to Change initiative is quick to point out that people with mental health problems are more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators. However, it remains the case that certain mental health conditions are more frequently associated with antisocial behaviour and violence than others. Personality disorders (PD) are one [read the full story...]