About The Mental Elf

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.

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

We scour over 500 sources of evidence (journals, databases, websites) every week, to find key guidance, systematic reviews and other high quality research and reports that will help make your practice more evidence-based. The selection process has no input from any external bodies, publishers, sponsors or commercial organisations.

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 and researchers, health and social care professionals, academics, service users, students, information scientists and carers.

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

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 for Surrey and Borders Partnership 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. Murtada Alsaif, Pharmacist
  7. Ian Anderson, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manchester
  8. Steve Appleton, Managing Director, Contact Consulting
  9. Douglas Badenoch, Director of Minervation Ltd
  10. Joe Barnby, Research Assistant, University College London
  11. John Baker, Chair of Mental Health Nursing at the University of Leeds
  12. Jonny Benjamin, Mental Health Campaigner, Film Producer, Public Speaker, Writer and Vlogger
  13. Laura Bennett, Research Assistant for the Learning Disability Mortality Review Programme (LeDeR) at University of Bristol
  14. Victoria Betton, Director of mHabitat
  15. Vishal Bhavsar, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Training Fellow in Epidemiology, Institute of Psychiatry
  16. Helen Bould, Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Fellow at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford
  17. Simon Bradstreet, Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow
  18. Rachel Brand, Clinical Psychologist and Research Fellow at Phoenix Australia: Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, The University of Melbourne
  19. Josefien Breedvelt, Research Officer, Mental Health Foundation
  20. Amy Broadbent, Research Assistant, Cambridge
  21. Matthew Broome, Senior Clinical Research Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford
  22. Martin Brunet, GP from the Binscombe Medical Centre
  23. Lisa Burscheidt, Assistant Librarian at North East London NHS Foundation Trust
  24. Alastair Canaway, Research Fellow, University of Warwick
  25. Sarah Carr, Associate Professor of Mental Health Research at Middlesex University, Independent Consultant at Sarah Carr and Associates Ltd
  26. Brant Cebulla, Development Director for the Vitamin D Council in California, USA
  27. Emma Cernis, Research Assistant, Oxford
  28. Iain Chalmers, Coordinator, James Lind Initiative
  29. Sarah Chapman, Knowledge Broker at UK Cochrane Centre
  30. Paul Christiansen, Lecturer at the University of Liverpool
  31. Andrea Cipriani, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford; Editor in Chief of Evidence-Based Mental Health
  32. Natasha Clarke, PhD Student at the University of Liverpool
  33. Alys Cole-King, Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist at the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, the Royal College of Psychiatrists Spokesperson on Suicide and Self harm, and the Clinical Director of Connecting with People
  34. Nicola Coop, Assistant Psychologist
  35. Mick Cooper, Professor of Counselling, School of Psychological Sciences and Health, University of Strathclyde, Scotland
  36. Samuele Cortese, Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Southampton and Honorary Consultant Child Psychiatrist at Solent NHS Trust

  37. Jake Crawshaw, PhD candidate at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King’s College London
  38. Ioana Cristea, Associate Professor at Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca and a Research Fellow at the University of Pisa, Italy
  39. Ian Cummins, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, University of Salford
  40. Emily Currell, MSc Student at University College London
  41. Sasha Danilina, PhD Student at University College London
  42. Suzanne Dash, Graduate-Entry Medicine Student at the University of Oxford
  43. John M Davis, Professor of Psychiatry and Research Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago
  44. Jennifer de Bayer, Research Coordinator, Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Oxford University
  45. Caroline De Brun, Knowledge and Evidence Manager, Public Health England Knowledge and Library Services
  46. Jill Domoney, Clinical Psychologist and Researcher, Section of Women’s Mental Health, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London
  47. Ailsa Donnelly, Lay Chair of the PRIMER group
  48. Jay Duckworth, PhD Student, University of Liverpool
  49. Edzard Ernst, Emeritus Professor at Exeter University
  50. Norah Essali, Medical student, University of Kalamoon, Syria
  51. Pete Etchells, Senior Lecturer in Biological Psychology, Bath Spa University
  52. Alison Faulkner, Survivoer Researcher and Trainer in Mental Health
  53. Mina Fazel, NIHR Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Oxford University Department of Psychiatry and Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  54. Matt Field, Professor of Psychology at the University of Liverpool
  55. Caroline Fiennes, Director, Giving Evidence
  56. Meg Fluharty, Research Assistant, Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, University of Bristol
  57. Andrés Fonseca, Consultant Psychiatrist, CEO of Health eLiving Partnership, Honorary Lecturer at UCL
  58. Una Foye, Research Officer, Mental Health Foundation
  59. Suzi Gage, PhD Epidemiologist at the University of Bristol & Blogger at the Guardian Science Network
  60. Linda Gask, Emerita Professor of Primary Care Psychiatry at the University of Manchester
  61. Clarissa Giebel, Researcher and PhD student, PSSRU, University of Manchester
  62. Guy Goodwin, Professor of Psychiatry, University Department of Psychiatry, Oxford
  63. Amy Green, Academic Clinical Lecturer at the University of Bristol
  64. Ellen Grimas, PhD Student, Imperial College
  65. Ian Hamilton, Lecturer in Mental Health in the Department of Health Sciences at York University
  66. Ben Hannigan, Reader in Mental Health Nursing in the School of Healthcare Sciences at Cardiff University
  67. Keir Harding, Occupational Therapist, Cynnwys (together), the personality disorder service in Cardiff
  68. Amanda Harris, Psychologist and Director of the Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss & Grief Network
  69. Camille Hart, Psychiatric Trainee Doctor, Queen’s University, Belfast
  70. Helge Hasselmann, Research Masters Student in Clinical and Cognitive Neurosciences at Maastricht University
  71. Simon Hatcher, Full Professor of Psychiatry at The University of Ottawa
  72. Joseph Hayes, Clinical Training Fellow, UCL Division of Psychiatry
  73. Laura Hemming, PhD Student, University of Manchester
  74. Jessamy Hibberd, Chartered Clinical Psychologist
  75. Kerrie-Anne Ho, PhD Candidate, University of New South Wales, Australia
  76. Chris Hollis, Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Nottingham and Consultant in Developmental Neuropsychiatry with Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
  77. Mark Horowitz, Training Psychiatrist from Australia who is completing a PhD at King’s College London
  78. Maxine Howard, PhD student at University College London
  79. Dochka Hristova, Project Coordinator for the National Elf Service
  80. Samei Huda, Consultant Psychiatrist, Pennine Care, Manchester
  81. Liz Hughes, Professor of Mental Health at University of Huddersfield and South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  82. Jane Iles, Clinical Psychologist working in CAMHS and Research Associate at Imperial College London
  83. Alex Jarram, PhD student at University College London
  84. Sameer Jauhar, Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the Institute of Psychiatry
  85. Sam Jee, Research Associate at the University of Manchester
  86. Susie Johnson, Recent Graduate from Bristol University
  87. Mandy Johnstone, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist, University of Edinburgh
  88. Andrew Jones, Post-doctoral researcher at the University of Liverpool
  89. Ian Jones, Professor of Perinatal Psychiatry at Cardiff University, Director of the Welsh National Centre for Mental Health
  90. Jonathan Jones, PhD Psychology student at the University of Exeter
  91. Joe Judge, Clinical Psychologist, Hamilton Psychological Therapies Team, Lanarkshire, Scotland
  92. Eleanor Kennedy, PhD Student at Bristol Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, University of Bristol
  93. Patrick Kennedy-Williams, Trainee Clinical Psychologist & Doctoral Student, University of Oxford
  94. Olivia Kirtley, Research Assistant, University of Glasgow
  95. Sarah Knowles, Research Fellow, NIHR School for Primary Care Research
  96. Stanley Kutcher, Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health and the Director WHO Collaborating Care in Mental Health Policy and Training at Dalhousie University and IWK Health Centre in Canada
  97. Jennifer Laidlaw, PGY-5 Resident in Psychiatry, University of Toronto
  98. Nicky Lambert, Director of Teaching and Learning Mental Health, Social Work and Integrative Medicine at Middlesex University
  99. Alex Langford, Psychiatrist, Oxford
  100. Jennifer Lau, University Lecturer at the University of Oxford. Director of the Researching Emotional Disorders and Development (REDD) lab
  101. Keith Laws, Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychology at the University of Hertfordshire
  102. Kirsten Lawson, Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead for Liaison Psychiatry Services at Kent & Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership NHS Trust
  103. Caroline Leah, Senior Lecturer and Social Worker based at Manchester Metropolitan University
  104. Simon Leigh, Health Economist at Lifecode® Solutions and Nexus Clinical Analytics, Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool
  105. Karina Lovell, Director of Research and Professor of Mental Health, University of Manchester
  106. Colleen Loo, Professor of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Australia
  107. Raluca Lucacel, PhD Student, Cluj Napoca, Romania
  108. Maartje Luijten, Assistant Professor, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  109. Lucy Maddox, NHS Clinical Psychologist, Lecturer and BSA Media Fellow
  110. Sarah Man, Staff Nurse, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit
  111. Sammy Man, Clinical Psychologist
  112. Farhana Mann, Clinical Training Fellow at University College London and Specialist Registrar (ST6) in General Adult Psychiatry in North London
  113. Elena Marcus, Research Assistant at the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health and University College London
  114. Joanna Martin, PhD Student at Cardiff University
  115. Lisa Marzano, Associate Professor in Psychology at Middlesex University
  116. Olivia Maynard, Research Associate, Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group at the University of Bristol
  117. Edel Mc Glanaghy, Trainee Clinical Psychologist at the University of Edinburgh
  118. Sarah McDonald, Clinical Psychologist
  119. Iain McDougall, Specialist trainee in General Adult Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Belfast
  120. Carla McEnery, Provisional Psychologist and PhD candidate, Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne
  121. Andrew McIntosh, Professor of Biological Psychiatry in the University of Edinburgh Division of Psychiatry
  122. John McGowan, Director and Academic Director of the Clinical Psychology Training Scheme at the Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology, Kent
  123. Kate McLaughlin, Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington, USA
  124. Mark Monaghan, Lecturer in Criminology and Social Policy at the University of Loughborough
  125. Michelle Moulds, Professor and PLuS Alliance Fellow, School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Australia
  126. Claire Mokrysz, PhD Student, University College London
  127. John Moriarty, Research Fellow, University of Belfast
  128. Marcus Munafò, Professor of Biological Psychology at the University of Bristol
  129. Akshay Nair, Wolfson Clinical Research Fellow, University College London
  130. Josephine Neale, Trainee Psychiatrist in North London
  131. Rosalyn Nelson, Assistant Psychologist, North Wilts Memory Service, Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
  132. Nicola Newhouse, Researcher at Health Experiences Research Group, University of Oxford
  133. Claire Niedzwiedz, Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health at the University of Edinburgh
  134. Elly O’Brien, Information Scientist, London
  135. Siobhan O’Neill, Professor of Mental Health Sciences at Ulster University
  136. Andrew O’Shaughnessy, Consultant in Public Health in Bradford & Airedale and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Leeds
  137. Chris O’Sullivan, Mental Health Foundation
  138. Michael Ostacher, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine
  139. Gozde Ozakinci, Health Psychologist and Lecturer in health psychology at the University of St Andrews
  140. Laurence Palfreyman, Assistant Psychologist in South London
  141. Carmine Pariante, Professor of Biological Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust
  142. Christopher Pell, In-patient General Adult Psychiatrist at the Susan Carnegie Centre in Angus, Scotland for NHS Tayside
  143. Serap Pinar, Biomedical and Molecular Science Research (M.Sc) from King’s College London
  144. Amy Price, Trustee of the ThinkWell charity where she leads the PLOT-IT (Public Led Online Trials-Infrastructure and Tools) project
  145. Paul Ramchandani, Reader in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry & Deputy Head, The Centre for Mental Health, Imperial College London
  146. Matt Ravenhall, Final year Biology student at the University of York
  147. Stefan Rennick-Egglestone, Digital Research Specialist, University of Nottingham
  148. Shirley Reynolds, Director of the Charlie Waller Institute and Professor of Evidence Based Psychological Therapies at the University of Reading
  149. Abi Rose, Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Liverpool
  150. Diana Rose, Professor of User-Led Research, Head of Section and Co-director Service User Research Enterprise (SURE), King’s College London
  151. Emma Saddleton, Research Worker and part-time MSc student at the Institute of Psychiatry, London
  152. Christopher Sampson, Health Economist at the University of Nottingham
  153. Andrew Shepherd, Doctoral research Fellow at the University of Manchester and Higher Trainee in Forensic Psychiatry
  154. Lucy Simons, Research Fellow at NIHR MindTech Healthcare Technology Cooperative, Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham
  155. Mark Smith, IAPT Clinician working for Steps2Change and independent Psychotherapist Trainer
  156. Francesca Solmi, Research Associate, Division of Psychiatry, University College London
  157. Andrew Sommerlad, PhD Fellow, University College London
  158. David Steele, Junior Doctor with an interest in psychology, psychiatry and public health
  159. Caroline Struthers, Education and Training Manager for the EQUATOR Network
  160. Rebecca Syed, Researcher, King’s College London
  161. Edward Sykes, Senior Press Manager and Head of Mental Health & Neuroscience, Science Media Centre
  162. Rupert Thurston, Junior Doctor working in General Adult Psychiatry in the West Midlands
  163. Caroline Tomes, Public Health Specialty Registrar currently working in Cambridge
  164. André Tomlin, Managing Director of Minervation Ltd
  165. Derek Tracy, Consultant Psychiatrist and Associate Clinical Director for crisis, inpatient, and rehabilitation services at Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust
  166. Alison Turner, Head of the Evidence Analysis team within the Strategy Unit at NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit
  167. Alan Underwoord, Specialist Clinical Psychologist
  168. Raphael Underwood, PhD candidate at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London
  169. Rachel Upthegrove, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Psychiatry, University of Birmingham
  170. Kathryn Walsh, Research Associate at the University of Birmingham
  171. Joanne Wallace, Graduate Entry Medical Student at The University of Warwick
  172. Michael Walton, PhD student at Manchester Metropolitan University
  173. Fiona Warner-Gale, Joint Director of Associate Development Solutions Ltd
  174. Andrew Watson, Clinical Research Fellow in Psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh
  175. Jasmin Wertz, PhD Student, Kings College London
  176. Simon Wessely, Chair of Psychological Medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurosciences (IoPPN), King’s College London
  177. Lucy Willetts, Chartered Clinical Psychologist and Accredited CBT Therapist
  178. Sarsha Wilson, Research Assistant at the NIHR Oxford Cognitive Health Clinical Research Facility
  179. Katrina Witt, Research Fellow with the Centre for Suicide Research at the University of Oxford
  180. Stephen Wood, Professor of Adolescent Brain Development and Mental Health at the University of Birmingham
  181. Fabio Zucchelli, Sport and Exercise Psychology MSc student

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:

The Woodland is getting busier every year.

The Woodland is getting busier every year.