Derek Tracy

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Derek Tracy is the Medical Director of West London NHS Trust. He was previously the Clinical Director of a nationally innovative integrated directorate of adult social care, mental and physical health services in South East London. His clinical work has generally been in crisis care: his team produced some of the first qualitative and patient-centred research on Home Treatment Teams and designed and ran an award-winning digitised patient reported outcome measurement (PROM) programme that has been profiled by NHS England. Derek is a Senior Lecturer at King’s and University College London. He has published over one hundred peer-reviewed scientific papers and fifteen book chapters. His research interests include New Psychoactive Substances (‘legal highs’) and Derek is a member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs that advises the Home Office on drug harms. At the Royal College of Psychiatrists Derek is an elected member of the executives of the academic, evolutionary psychiatry, and occupational health faculties. With regards to the last of these, he has a particular interest in NHS staff well-being; in 2020 he was co-opted as one of the medical leads to design and run the mental health team at the London Nightingale hospital, providing on-site support to ITU staff during the pandemic. He is the editor for public engagement at the British Journal of Psychiatry, writing its Kaleidoscope and Highlights columns, and running its social media output and trainee-engagement programme. Derek is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, the Royal Society of Arts, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists; he was a Founding Fellow of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management. In 2015 he was awarded the Institute of Psychiatry’s Teaching Excellence Award, and in 2019 the Royal College of Psychiatrist’s “Communicator of the Year” award. He likes enthusiastic people, running, and the Stone Roses; he hates whinging, butter, and cats.

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Should clinicians be developing a suicide safety plan with their patients?

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Felicity Pearce, Bani Kahai and Derek Tracy summarise a recent meta-analysis examining safety planning-type interventions for suicide prevention.

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Parents and carers of children with an intellectual disability: what do we know about their wellbeing?

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Charlie Lynch and Derek Tracy review a study on childhood intellectual disability and parents’ wellbeing, which integrates social, psychological and genetic influences.

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Living in anxious times? The rise of anxiety disorders in the UK

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Alice Grishkov and Derek Tracy explore a recent paper, which finds that generalised anxiety disorder is on the rise in the UK, especially in young women.

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Suicide awareness materials: do they help people with suicidal ideation?

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Hanzla Amir and Derek Tracy summarise a recent online randomised controlled trial on the effects of suicide awareness materials on people who feel suicidal, which finds that the Papageno effect is real and that stories of hope and recovery can help.

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Should we be offering twice weekly psychotherapy for people with depression?

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Jack Kerwin and Derek Tracy summarise a new RCT published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, which suggests that twice weekly psychotherapy (CBT or IPT) may be more effective than once weekly sessions for people with depression.

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Cognitive functioning in psychosis: is neuropsychological decline continuous, generalised, and specific to schizophrenia?

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Emmeline Lagunes Cordoba and Derek Tracy explore a case control study that looks at cognitive change in people with schizophrenia and other psychoses in the decade following the first episode.

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Continuity of care: a luxury or need?

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LucÍa Almazán Sánchez and Derek Tracy appraise a new paper in the British Journal of Psychiatry on continuity of care and clinical outcomes in the community for people with severe mental illness.

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Self-harm in older adults: a forgotten group?

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Karen Birnie, Haridha Pandian and Derek Tracy summarise a recent systematic review in the British Journal of Psychiatry on self-harm in older adults.

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Can museums help prevent dementia?

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Dafni Katsampa and Derek Tracy get all cultured and summarise a retrospective cohort study of museum attendance and dementia incidence, which suggests that cultural engagement may help protect us from cognitive decline.

The research is led by Daisy Fancourt who heads up the new MARCH Network which is launching later this month.

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After the crisis: self-management and peer-support

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Jenny Collom, Maria Giorgalli and Derek Tracy welcome a new RCT published yesterday in The Lancet which demonstrates the benefits of peer-supported self-management for people discharged from a mental health crisis team.

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