About

Welcome to the Mental Elf. This website will help you find just what you need to keep up-to-date with all of the important and reliable mental health research and guidance.

You don’t have to waste time looking at dozens of websites and articles every week.

Our team of mental health experts post updates every day with short and snappy summaries that highlight evidence-based publications relevant to mental health practice in the UK and further afield.

You can be the first to hear about key guidance, systematic reviews and high quality research and information.

No bias, no misinformation, no spin, just what you need.

Who started the Mental Elf?

The blog was started by André Tomlin in May 2011. André’s an Information Scientist and has worked in mental health since the late nineties, formerly at the University of Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Mental Health and since 2002 as MD of Minervation Ltd an evidence-based healthcare consultancy based in Oxford.

After  2 very successful years of blogging as the Mental Elf, André decided to invite colleagues to join him as contributors to the site. It’s great to involve a wide range of people in this venture, to bring in a fresh perspective and their considerable knowledge and clinical experience.

Who writes for the Mental Elf?

We have an ever-expanding team of people who contribute to the site. The group includes senior clinicians, mental health professionals, journal editors, researchers, academics, students and information scientists:

Do you have an elf in you, fighting to get out?

Click on the little pointy eared fella to find out more about writing for the Mental Elf

  1. Clive Adams, Chair of Mental Health Services Research and Co-ordinating Editor of the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group at the University of Nottingham
  2. Sally Adams, Lecturer in Health Psychology at the University of Bath
  3. Lia Ali, Consultant Psychiatrist & Clinical Lead for Digital Health, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
  4. Eva Alisic, Psychologist and Research Fellow at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia
  5. Rachel Allan, Practice Leader for The Royal Mencap Society
  6. Steve Appleton, Managing Director, Contact Consulting
  7. Douglas Badenoch, Director of Minervation Ltd
  8. John Baker, Chair of Mental Health Nursing at the University of Leeds
  9. Vishal Bhavsar, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Training Fellow in Epidemiology, Institute of Psychiatry
  10. Helen Bould, Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Fellow at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford
  11. Rachel Brand, Clinical Psychologist and Research Fellow at Phoenix Australia: Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, The University of Melbourne
  12. Amy Broadbent, Research Assistant, Cambridge
  13. Martin Brunet, GP from the Binscombe Medical Centre
  14. Lisa Burscheidt, Assistant Librarian at North East London NHS Foundation Trust
  15. Sarah Carr, Independent Consultant, Sarah Carr and Associates Ltd
  16. Brant Cebulla, Development Director for the Vitamin D Council in California, USA
  17. Emma Cernis, Research Assistant, Oxford
  18. Sarah Chapman, Knowledge Broker at UK Cochrane Centre
  19. Paul Christiansen, Lecturer at the University of Liverpool
  20. Natasha Clarke, PhD Student at the University of Liverpool
  21. Nicola Coop, Assistant Psychologist
  22. Mick Cooper, Professor of Counselling, School of Psychological Sciences and Health, University of Strathclyde, Scotland
  23. Jake Crawshaw, PhD candidate at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King’s College London
  24. Ioana Cristea, Senior Assistant Professor at Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca and a Research Fellow at the University of Pisa, Italy
  25. Ian Cummins, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, University of Salford
  26. Caroline De Brun, Knowledge and Evidence Manager, Public Health England Knowledge and Library Services
  27. Ailsa Donnelly, Lay Chair of the PRIMER group
  28. Norah Essali, Medical student, University of Kalamoon, Syria
  29. Matt Field, Professor of Psychology at the University of Liverpool
  30. Meg Fluharty, Research Assistant, Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, University of Bristol
  31. Andrés Fonseca, Consultant Psychiatrist and CEO of Virtually Free
  32. Suzi Gage, PhD Epidemiologist at the University of Bristol & Blogger at the Guardian Science Network
  33. Amy Green, Academic Clinical Lecturer at the University of Bristol
  34. Amanda Harris, Psychologist and Director of the Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss & Grief Network
  35. Helge Hasselmann, Research Masters Student in Clinical and Cognitive Neurosciences at Maastricht University
  36. Simon Hatcher, Full Professor of Psychiatry at The University of Ottawa
  37. Jessamy Hibberd, Chartered Clinical Psychologist
  38. Kerrie-Anne Ho, PhD Candidate, University of New South Wales, Australia
  39. Mark Horowitz, Training Psychiatrist from Australia who is completing a PhD at King’s College London
  40. Maxine Howard, PhD student at University College London
  41. Samei Huda, Consultant Psychiatrist, Pennine Care, Manchester
  42. Liz Hughes, Professor of Mental Health at University of Huddersfield and South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  43. Jane Iles, Clinical Psychologist working in CAMHS and Research Associate at Imperial College London
  44. Alex Jarram, PhD student at University College London
  45. Sameer Jauhar, Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the Institute of Psychiatry
  46. Sam Jee, Research Associate at the University of Manchester
  47. Susie Johnson, Recent Graduate from Bristol University
  48. Andrew Jones, Post-doctoral researcher at the University of Liverpool
  49. Jonathan Jones, PhD Psychology student at the University of Exeter
  50. Joe Judge, Clinical Psychologist, Hamilton Psychological Therapies Team, Lanarkshire, Scotland
  51. Eleanor Kennedy, PhD Student at Bristol Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, University of Bristol
  52. Patrick Kennedy-Williams, Trainee Clinical Psychologist & Doctoral Student, University of Oxford
  53. Sarah Knowles, Research Fellow, NIHR School for Primary Care Research
  54. Jennifer Laidlaw, PGY-5 Resident in Psychiatry, University of Toronto
  55. Alex Langford, Trainee Psychiatrist, South-east London
  56. Jennifer Lau, University Lecturer at the University of Oxford. Director of the Researching Emotional Disorders and Development (REDD) lab
  57. Keith Laws, Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychology at the University of Hertfordshire
  58. Kirsten Lawson, Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead for Liaison Psychiatry Services at Kent & Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership NHS Trust
  59. Colleen Loo, Professor of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Australia
  60. Raluca Lucacel, PhD Student, Cluj Napoca, Romania
  61. Maartje Luijten, Assistant Professor, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  62. Lucy Maddox, NHS Clinical Psychologist, Lecturer and BSA Media Fellow
  63. Sarah Man, Staff Nurse, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit
  64. Sammy Man, Clinical Psychologist
  65. Joanna Martin, PhD Student at Cardiff University
  66. Olivia Maynard, Research Associate, Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group at the University of Bristol
  67. Sarah McDonald, Clinical Psychologist
  68. Iain McDougall, Specialist trainee in General Adult Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Belfast
  69. John McGowan, Director and Academic Director of the Clinical Psychology Training Scheme at the Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology, Kent
  70. Kate McLaughlin, Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington, USA
  71. Claire Mokrysz, PhD Student, University College London
  72. Marcus Munafò, Professor of Biological Psychology at the University of Bristol
  73. Akshay NairNIHR Academic Clinical Fellow at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
  74. Josephine Neale, Trainee Psychiatrist in North London
  75. Rosalyn Nelson, Assistant Psychologist, North Wilts Memory Service, Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
  76. Nicola Newhouse, Researcher at Health Experiences Research Group, University of Oxford
  77. Claire Niedzwiedz, Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health at the University of Edinburgh
  78. Elly O’Brien, Information Scientist, London
  79. Andrew O’Shaughnessy, Consultant in Public Health in Bradford & Airedale and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Leeds
  80. Gozde Ozakinci, Health Psychologist and Lecturer in health psychology at the University of St Andrews
  81. Laurence Palfreyman, Assistant Psychologist in South London
  82. Christopher Pell, In-patient General Adult Psychiatrist at the Susan Carnegie Centre in Angus, Scotland for NHS Tayside
  83. Paul Ramchandani, Reader in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry & Deputy Head, The Centre for Mental Health, Imperial College London
  84. Matt Ravenhall, Final year Biology student at the University of York
  85. Shirley Reynolds, Director of the Charlie Waller Institute and Professor of Evidence Based Psychological Therapies at the University of Reading
  86. Abi Rose, Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Liverpool
  87. Emma Saddleton, Research Worker and part-time MSc student at the Institute of Psychiatry, London
  88. Christopher Sampson, Health Economist at the University of Nottingham
  89. Andrew Shepherd, Doctoral research Fellow at the University of Manchester and Higher Trainee in Forensic Psychiatry
  90. Lucy Simons, Research Fellow at NIHR MindTech Healthcare Technology Cooperative, Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham
  91. Mark Smith, IAPT Clinician working for Steps2Change and independent Psychotherapist Trainer
  92. David Steele, Junior Doctor with an interest in psychology, psychiatry and public health
  93. Caroline Struthers, Education and Training Manager for the EQUATOR Network
  94. Rebecca Syed, Researcher, King’s College London
  95. Rupert Thurston, Junior Doctor working in General Adult Psychiatry in the West Midlands
  96. Caroline Tomes, Public Health Specialty Registrar currently working in Cambridge
  97. André Tomlin, Managing Director of Minervation Ltd
  98. Alison Turner, Head of the Evidence Analysis team within the Strategy Unit at NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit
  99. Raphael Underwood, PhD candidate at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London
  100. Kathryn Walsh, Research Associate at the University of Birmingham
  101. Michael Walton, PhD student at Manchester Metropolitan University
  102. Fiona Warner-Gale, Joint Director of Associate Development Solutions Ltd
  103. Andrew Watson, Clinical Research Fellow in Psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh
  104. Stephen Wood, Professor of Adolescent Brain Development and Mental Health at the University of Birmingham
  105. Fabio Zucchelli, Sport and Exercise Psychology MSc student

We’re adding to our network of writers all the time, so find out more if you’re interested in getting involved yourself.

Who decides what evidence is included on the website?

We scour over 400 databases, journals, websites and other feeds to bring you the best available mental health evidence.  Items are selected using an evidence-based inclusion criteria to ensure they are relevant to UK practice and based on high quality research, policy and guidance.

The selection process has no input from any external bodies, publishers, sponsors or commercial organisations.

We critically appraise the material we find using the CASP critical appraisal checklists.

Press coverage

Are there more elves for different health topics?

We are adding to our National Elf Service all the time.  Check out these other elves:

We are also working on a Child Elf, which we hope to launch in early 2015.

The Woodland is getting busier every year.

The Woodland is getting busier every year.