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. Mark Brown, Development Director of Social Spider CIC
  23. Martin Brunet, GP from the Binscombe Medical Centre
  24. Lisa Burscheidt, Assistant Librarian at North East London NHS Foundation Trust
  25. Alastair Canaway, Research Fellow, University of Warwick
  26. Sarah Carr, Associate Professor of Mental Health Research at Middlesex University, Independent Consultant at Sarah Carr and Associates Ltd
  27. Brant Cebulla, Development Director for the Vitamin D Council in California, USA
  28. Emma Cernis, Research Assistant, Oxford
  29. Iain Chalmers, Coordinator, James Lind Initiative
  30. Sarah Chapman, Knowledge Broker at UK Cochrane Centre
  31. Paul Christiansen, Lecturer at the University of Liverpool
  32. Andrea Cipriani, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford; Editor in Chief of Evidence-Based Mental Health
  33. Natasha Clarke, PhD Student at the University of Liverpool
  34. 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
  35. Nicola Coop, Assistant Psychologist
  36. Mick Cooper, Professor of Counselling, School of Psychological Sciences and Health, University of Strathclyde, Scotland
  37. Samuele Cortese, Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Southampton and Honorary Consultant Child Psychiatrist at Solent NHS Trust

  38. Jake Crawshaw, PhD candidate at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King’s College London
  39. Ioana Cristea, Associate Professor at Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca and a Research Fellow at the University of Pisa, Italy
  40. Ian Cummins, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, University of Salford
  41. Emily Currell, MSc Student at University College London
  42. Sasha Danilina, PhD Student at University College London
  43. Suzanne Dash, Graduate-Entry Medicine Student at the University of Oxford
  44. Kelly Davies, Lecturer in Mental Health, University of York
  45. John M Davis, Professor of Psychiatry and Research Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago
  46. Jennifer de Bayer, Research Coordinator, Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Oxford University
  47. Caroline De Brun, Knowledge and Evidence Manager, Public Health England Knowledge and Library Services
  48. Jill Domoney, Clinical Psychologist and Researcher, Section of Women’s Mental Health, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London
  49. Ailsa Donnelly, Lay Chair of the PRIMER group
  50. Jay Duckworth, PhD Student, University of Liverpool
  51. Edzard Ernst, Emeritus Professor at Exeter University
  52. Norah Essali, Medical student, University of Kalamoon, Syria
  53. Pete Etchells, Senior Lecturer in Biological Psychology, Bath Spa University
  54. Alison Faulkner, Survivoer Researcher and Trainer in Mental Health
  55. 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
  56. Matt Field, Professor of Psychology at the University of Liverpool
  57. Caroline Fiennes, Director, Giving Evidence
  58. Meg Fluharty, Research Assistant, Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, University of Bristol
  59. Andrés Fonseca, Consultant Psychiatrist, CEO of Health eLiving Partnership, Honorary Lecturer at UCL
  60. Una Foye, Research Officer, Mental Health Foundation
  61. Suzi Gage, PhD Epidemiologist at the University of Bristol & Blogger at the Guardian Science Network
  62. Linda Gask, Emerita Professor of Primary Care Psychiatry at the University of Manchester
  63. Clarissa Giebel, Researcher and PhD student, PSSRU, University of Manchester
  64. Guy Goodwin, Professor of Psychiatry, University Department of Psychiatry, Oxford
  65. Amy Green, Academic Clinical Lecturer at the University of Bristol
  66. Ellen Grimas, PhD Student, Imperial College
  67. Ian Hamilton, Lecturer in Mental Health in the Department of Health Sciences at York University
  68. Ben Hannigan, Reader in Mental Health Nursing in the School of Healthcare Sciences at Cardiff University
  69. Keir Harding, Occupational Therapist, Cynnwys (together), the personality disorder service in Cardiff
  70. Amanda Harris, Psychologist and Director of the Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss & Grief Network
  71. Camille Hart, Psychiatric Trainee Doctor, Queen’s University, Belfast
  72. Helge Hasselmann, Research Masters Student in Clinical and Cognitive Neurosciences at Maastricht University
  73. Simon Hatcher, Full Professor of Psychiatry at The University of Ottawa
  74. Joseph Hayes, Clinical Training Fellow, UCL Division of Psychiatry
  75. Laura Hemming, PhD Student, University of Manchester
  76. Jessamy Hibberd, Chartered Clinical Psychologist
  77. Kerrie-Anne Ho, PhD Candidate, University of New South Wales, Australia
  78. Chris Hollis, Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Nottingham and Consultant in Developmental Neuropsychiatry with Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
  79. Mark Horowitz, Training Psychiatrist from Australia who is completing a PhD at King’s College London
  80. Maxine Howard, PhD student at University College London
  81. Dochka Hristova, Project Coordinator for the National Elf Service
  82. Samei Huda, Consultant Psychiatrist, Pennine Care, Manchester
  83. Liz Hughes, Professor of Mental Health at University of Huddersfield and South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  84. Jane Iles, Clinical Psychologist working in CAMHS and Research Associate at Imperial College London
  85. Alex Jarram, PhD student at University College London
  86. Sameer Jauhar, Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the Institute of Psychiatry
  87. Sam Jee, Research Associate at the University of Manchester
  88. Susie Johnson, Recent Graduate from Bristol University
  89. Mandy Johnstone, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist, University of Edinburgh
  90. Andrew Jones, Post-doctoral researcher at the University of Liverpool
  91. Ian Jones, Professor of Perinatal Psychiatry at Cardiff University, Director of the Welsh National Centre for Mental Health
  92. Jonathan Jones, PhD Psychology student at the University of Exeter
  93. Joe Judge, Clinical Psychologist, Hamilton Psychological Therapies Team, Lanarkshire, Scotland
  94. Eleanor Kennedy, PhD Student at Bristol Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, University of Bristol
  95. Patrick Kennedy-Williams, Trainee Clinical Psychologist & Doctoral Student, University of Oxford
  96. Olivia Kirtley, Research Assistant, University of Glasgow
  97. Sarah Knowles, Research Fellow, NIHR School for Primary Care Research
  98. 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
  99. Jennifer Laidlaw, PGY-5 Resident in Psychiatry, University of Toronto
  100. Nicky Lambert, Director of Teaching and Learning Mental Health, Social Work and Integrative Medicine at Middlesex University
  101. Alex Langford, Psychiatrist, Oxford
  102. Jennifer Lau, University Lecturer at the University of Oxford. Director of the Researching Emotional Disorders and Development (REDD) lab
  103. Keith Laws, Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychology at the University of Hertfordshire
  104. Kirsten Lawson, Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead for Liaison Psychiatry Services at Kent & Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership NHS Trust
  105. Caroline Leah, Senior Lecturer and Social Worker based at Manchester Metropolitan University
  106. Simon Leigh, Health Economist at Lifecode® Solutions and Nexus Clinical Analytics, Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool
  107. Gemma Lewis, University College London
  108. Karina Lovell, Director of Research and Professor of Mental Health, University of Manchester
  109. Colleen Loo, Professor of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Australia
  110. Raluca Lucacel, PhD Student, Cluj Napoca, Romania
  111. Maartje Luijten, Assistant Professor, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  112. Lucy Maddox, NHS Clinical Psychologist, Lecturer and BSA Media Fellow
  113. Sarah Man, Staff Nurse, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit
  114. Sammy Man, Clinical Psychologist
  115. Farhana Mann, Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellow at University College London and Specialist Registrar (ST6) in General Adult Psychiatry in North London
  116. Elena Marcus, Research Assistant at the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health and University College London
  117. Joanna Martin, PhD Student at Cardiff University
  118. Lisa Marzano, Associate Professor in Psychology at Middlesex University
  119. Olivia Maynard, Research Associate, Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group at the University of Bristol
  120. Edel Mc Glanaghy, Trainee Clinical Psychologist at the University of Edinburgh
  121. Sarah McDonald, Clinical Psychologist
  122. Iain McDougall, Specialist trainee in General Adult Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Belfast
  123. Carla McEnery, Provisional Psychologist and PhD candidate, Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne
  124. Andrew McIntosh, Professor of Biological Psychiatry in the University of Edinburgh Division of Psychiatry
  125. John McGowan, Director and Academic Director of the Clinical Psychology Training Scheme at the Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology, Kent
  126. Kate McLaughlin, Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington, USA
  127. Mark Monaghan, Lecturer in Criminology and Social Policy at the University of Loughborough
  128. Michelle Moulds, Professor and PLuS Alliance Fellow, School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Australia
  129. Claire Mokrysz, PhD Student, University College London
  130. John Moriarty, Research Fellow, University of Belfast
  131. Marcus Munafò, Professor of Biological Psychology at the University of Bristol
  132. Akshay Nair, Wolfson Clinical Research Fellow, University College London
  133. Josephine Neale, Trainee Psychiatrist in North London
  134. Rosalyn Nelson, Assistant Psychologist, North Wilts Memory Service, Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
  135. Nicola Newhouse, Researcher at Health Experiences Research Group, University of Oxford
  136. Claire Niedzwiedz, Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health at the University of Edinburgh
  137. Elly O’Brien, Information Scientist, London
  138. Siobhan O’Neill, Professor of Mental Health Sciences at Ulster University
  139. Andrew O’Shaughnessy, Consultant in Public Health in Bradford & Airedale and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Leeds
  140. Chris O’Sullivan, Mental Health Foundation
  141. Michael Ostacher, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine
  142. Gozde Ozakinci, Health Psychologist and Lecturer in health psychology at the University of St Andrews
  143. Laurence Palfreyman, Assistant Psychologist in South London
  144. Carmine Pariante, Professor of Biological Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust
  145. Christopher Pell, In-patient General Adult Psychiatrist at the Susan Carnegie Centre in Angus, Scotland for NHS Tayside
  146. Serap Pinar, Biomedical and Molecular Science Research (M.Sc) from King’s College London
  147. Amy Price, Trustee of the ThinkWell charity where she leads the PLOT-IT (Public Led Online Trials-Infrastructure and Tools) project
  148. Paul Ramchandani, Reader in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry & Deputy Head, The Centre for Mental Health, Imperial College London
  149. Matt Ravenhall, Final year Biology student at the University of York
  150. Stefan Rennick-Egglestone, Digital Research Specialist, University of Nottingham
  151. Shirley Reynolds, Director of the Charlie Waller Institute and Professor of Evidence Based Psychological Therapies at the University of Reading
  152. Abi Rose, Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Liverpool
  153. Diana Rose, Professor of User-Led Research, Head of Section and Co-director Service User Research Enterprise (SURE), King’s College London
  154. Emma Saddleton, Research Worker and part-time MSc student at the Institute of Psychiatry, London
  155. Christopher Sampson, Health Economist at the University of Nottingham
  156. Andrew Shepherd, Doctoral research Fellow at the University of Manchester and Higher Trainee in Forensic Psychiatry
  157. Lucy Simons, Research Fellow at NIHR MindTech Healthcare Technology Cooperative, Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham
  158. Mark Smith, IAPT Clinician working for Steps2Change and independent Psychotherapist Trainer
  159. Francesca Solmi, Research Associate, Division of Psychiatry, University College London
  160. Andrew Sommerlad, PhD Fellow, University College London
  161. David Steele, Junior Doctor with an interest in psychology, psychiatry and public health
  162. Caroline Struthers, Education and Training Manager for the EQUATOR Network
  163. Rebecca Syed, Researcher, King’s College London
  164. Edward Sykes, Senior Press Manager and Head of Mental Health & Neuroscience, Science Media Centre
  165. Rupert Thurston, Junior Doctor working in General Adult Psychiatry in the West Midlands
  166. Caroline Tomes, Public Health Specialty Registrar currently working in Cambridge
  167. André Tomlin, Managing Director of Minervation Ltd
  168. Derek Tracy, Consultant Psychiatrist and Associate Clinical Director for crisis, inpatient, and rehabilitation services at Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust
  169. Alison Turner, Head of the Evidence Analysis team within the Strategy Unit at NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit
  170. Alan Underwoord, Specialist Clinical Psychologist
  171. Raphael Underwood, PhD candidate at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London
  172. Rachel Upthegrove, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Psychiatry, University of Birmingham
  173. Kathryn Walsh, Research Associate at the University of Birmingham
  174. Joanne Wallace, Graduate Entry Medical Student at The University of Warwick
  175. Michael Walton, PhD student at Manchester Metropolitan University
  176. Fiona Warner-Gale, Joint Director of Associate Development Solutions Ltd
  177. Andrew Watson, Clinical Research Fellow in Psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh
  178. Jasmin Wertz, PhD Student, Kings College London
  179. Simon Wessely, Chair of Psychological Medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurosciences (IoPPN), King’s College London
  180. Lucy Willetts, Chartered Clinical Psychologist and Accredited CBT Therapist
  181. Sarsha Wilson, Research Assistant at the NIHR Oxford Cognitive Health Clinical Research Facility
  182. Katrina Witt, Research Fellow with the Centre for Suicide Research at the University of Oxford
  183. Stephen Wood, Professor of Adolescent Brain Development and Mental Health at the University of Birmingham
  184. 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.