Job clubs may protect unemployed people from depression

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Ian Cummins explores a recent systematic review of interventions to reduce the impact of unemployment and economic hardship on mental health in the general population.

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Austerity and suicide: are we placing health before wealth?

Protesters clash with policemen during riots at a May Day rally in Athens May 1, 2010. Angry protesters set fire to garbage cans and two TV outside broadcast vans in Athens as thousands of Greeks marched through the capital on May Day to protest against austerity measures they say only hurt the poor.  REUTERS/Icon/Panagiotis Tzamaros  (GREECE - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS CIVIL UNREST EMPLOYMENT IMAGES OF THE DAY) GREECE OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN GREECE

Ian Cummins reflects on a recent study looking at the relationship between fiscal austerity and suicide rates in Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.

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What is the sociodemographic recipe for happiness?

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Mark Horowitz summarises a recent study that investigates the impact that socio-economic gradients have on mental well-being. He finds to his surprise that the relationship between socio-economic characteristics and low mental well-being is not the inverse of the relationship with high mental well-being.

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Social determinants of mental health: how our societies are making us mentally unwell and what we can do about it

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Mark Horowitz summarises the new WHO and UCL Institute of Health Equity (Michael Marmot) report and research paper on social determinants of mental health. He concludes that it’s time to focus on the root causes of mental distress, namely poverty, unemployment, poor education and social isolation.

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Commissioning to address mental health ethnic inequalities

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Caroline De Brun highlights the new guidance for commissioners of mental health services for people from black and minority ethnic communities, produced by the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health.

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Lancet modelling study points to minimum alcohol pricing reducing UK health inequalities

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It is oft argued by libertarian think-tanks that introducing minimum pricing for alcohol would lead to moderate drinkers from low socio-economic status backgrounds suffering disproportionately. Indeed, this was cited as a reason for the Government dropping the policy they had previously endorsed. A new paper published today in the Lancet suggests this may not actually [read the full story…]

Crisis, what crisis? EU-wide data shows negative impacts of the recession on people with mental health problems

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The effects of the global stock market crash of 2008 have not just been economic. The health and social consequences of the financial crisis are becoming clearer over time and were anticipated by public health academics early on. Based on a 30 year review of EU data on how economic changes affect mortality, in 2009 [read the full story…]

Illicit drug use: personality and poverty

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A considerable amount of research has attempted to shed light on the key antecedents of drug use. The role of personality traits, in particular, has been explored in great detail; indeed the idea of “the addictive personality” has often been discussed. Although we elves feel that the addictive personality is a simplification of a much [read the full story…]

The cost of living? Early childhood interventions could reduce the impact of socio-economic inequalities on the mental health of children and young people

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In the current economic climate in many countries across the world, the impact of socio-economic inequalities on mental health has become an important topic, not only in terms of supporting people, but in terms of planning a public health response to a rising concern. Poverty and low economic status is known to affect various aspects [read the full story…]