Evidence
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Teenagers' use of antidepressants is rising with variations across regions and ethnic groups

The number of 12-to-17 year olds prescribed antidepressants in England more than doubled between 2005 and 2017. This is one of the striking changes seen in a new study into the use of antidepressants by children and young people. It also found that antidepressant prescriptions for 5-to-11 year olds decreased between 1999 and 2017. Antidepressants ...

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Befriending programmes for people with psychosis can be challenging but beneficial to both parties

Befriending programmes are designed to help people who are likely to be socially isolated. This could be due to illness, including mental illness, or old age. Befrienders are often volunteers who make a commitment to have regular meetings with an individual they are put in touch with, often via a service. People with psychosis are ...

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Recommendations from male students help shape mental health support for this high-risk group

Male university students suggested approaches that would encourage them to seek help with their mental health. Examples include providing male-only spaces, and using positive masculine narratives of help-seeking. Terms other than ‘mental health’ could be used to describe group sessions. The study’s recommendations are important and relevant because men are less likely to ask for ...

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Brain and nerve complications are more common than expected in younger patients with severe COVID-19

People aged under 60 who are hospitalised with COVID-19 are more likely than expected to experience severe psychiatric symptoms. Research found that altered mental states such as psychosis are being reported in these younger patients.  It confirmed that strokes and other neurological symptoms are common in severe COVID-19. An initial study included 153 cases reported ...

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Prozac may be the best treatment for young people with depression – but more research is needed

Children and adolescents with moderate-to-severe depression are being prescribed treatments that are not backed by reliable evidence. There is insufficient data on whether treatments work and if they are safe. Unlike for adults, the best way to treat symptoms of depression in these age groups is unknown. A review of 71 separate trials found that ...

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Play and social skills may protect children who have difficulties with spoken language

Children with developmental language disorder (DLD) have ongoing difficulties with spoken language. They may struggle to understand long sentences, to tell stories or to take turns in a conversation.  The disorder makes communication difficult and can slow children’s progress at school. Their self-esteem can be harmed and, overall, children with DLD have poorer mental health ...

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Working may improve quality of life for carers of people with dementia

Those who care for people with dementia are likely to report a better quality of life if they also work outside the home. This may be linked to higher self-esteem. A study included almost 1,300 people caring for relatives with dementia. It found that carers with jobs outside the home were likely to be younger ...

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New research provides insights into the distress experienced by transgender adults

Transgender people have a mismatch between their sex assigned at birth and the gender they identify as. This can lead to sense of unease, dissatisfaction or distress (gender dysphoria) which can be intense. Social factors also cause negative feelings. Treatment at gender clinics is only available to those who have gender dysphoria. How gender dysphoria ...

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Male prisoners develop unhealthy hearts at younger ages than people on the outside

The risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is higher among male prisoners than among men of the same age who live in the community. CVD affects the heart and blood vessels and increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The largest European study of the heart health of prisoners found that more than one in ...

Collection

Mental health and COVID-19

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the constraints it has imposed on people is an issue of interest and concern to patients, service users, carers and health and social care professionals alike. In pandemic conditions it is likely that people’s existing mental health problems may get worse. Mental health may also decline because of social ...

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