Is mental malaise the psychological equivalent of obesity?


Stan Kutcher reflects on a recently published briefing paper entitled: mental ill-health among children of the new century, which concluded that one in four 14 year old girls had self-reported “high symptoms of depression”.

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Media coverage of mental illness has increased significantly in recent years


Ed Sykes from the Science Media Centre considers a recent study of changes in newspaper coverage of mental illness from 2008 to 2014 in England.

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Integrated treatment for first episode psychosis: media hype versus reality


Alex Langford reflects on the media hype surrounding a new RCT of the NAVIGATE intervention; a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, team-based treatment approach for first episode psychosis.

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The PACE Trial for chronic fatigue syndrome: choppy seas but a prosperous voyage


Simon Wessely responds to the huge amount of recent criticism that has surrounded the publication of a follow-up paper of the PACE trial into chronic fatigue syndrome. This extended blog presents the PACE trial and its main results, but also reminds us what makes a good RCT, as well as exploring how well PACE measures up.

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Suicide prevention at suicide hotspots


David Steele talks us through a systematic review and meta-analysis, which found that commonly used interventions are effective at preventing completed suicides at suicide hotspots.

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No link between SSRI use and violent crime in over 25s


Sarah McDonald considers the implications of a recent cohort study of SSRI use and violent crime, which suffered from the usual headline grabbing media coverage, so typical of research about young people, violence, crime, drugs and mental health.

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‘Beat the cheat’: disability welfare benefits and newspaper reporting


Gerry Bennison offers food for thought in his blog on research into how disability welfare has been characterised in popular UK tabloid articles.

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Depression to blame for violent crime? The curse of the headline writers


Laurence Palfreyman highlights a population study from researchers at Oxford University, which investigates the links between depression and violent crime. The study finds that people with depression were three times more likely to have been convicted of violent crime than those without depression, but we need to be careful about how we interpret these relative risk figures.

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Do British newspapers breach suicide reporting guidelines?


Caroline Tomes highlights a new study that explores suicide reporting in the arts sections of British newspapers. The study concludes that there is poor compliance with suicide reporting guidelines in British newspapers, but further research is needed before we can generalise these findings.

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“Psychokiller, qu’est-ce que c’est”. The risk of violent re-offending among prisoners with psychotic experiences


In England and Wales, the Mental Health Act (1983, revised 2007) allows for the detention of individuals to hospital for a period of assessment (Section 2) or treatment (Section 3) if it is deemed that they suffer with a mental disorder of a nature or degree sufficient to warrant admission to hospital and it is necessary [read the full story…]