The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has released a new clinical practice guideline that summarizes specific approaches to treatment for people with major depressive disorder. The updated guideline includes new evidence-based recommendations on treatment decisions and addresses other topics, such as alternative and complementary therapies, treating depression during pregnancy and approaches to treating treatment-resistant depression.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the United Kingdom has released new clinical guidelines for pregnancy and complex social factors. In addition to introducing the concept of women-centred care and making general recommendations, the document provides specific guidelines related to pregnant women who: misuse substances; are recent migrants, asylum seekers or refugees, or who have difficulty reading or speaking English; who are under age 20; and who experience domestic abuse. See “Pregnancy and Complex Social Factors: A Model for Service Provision for Pregnant Women with Complex Social Factors,” September 2010, available at www.nice.org.uk.
A new study, based in Australia at the University of Melbourne, is exploring a method of preventing depression through the Internet. Mood Memos is targeted to people experiencing depression symptoms which are not yet too severe, with the aim of averting depression or relapse. The study is looking at the effectiveness of e-mail-based mental health promotion for depression symptoms. The researcher is seeking participants 18 years of age and older from around the world until November 2010. For more information, or to sign up for the study, visit www.moodmemos.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new report by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) was released for World Mental Health Day, October 10, 2010. The theme of this year’s report was an extension of last year’s theme of “integration of care,” focusing on the relationship between mental health disorders and chronic illnesses.
A recently released briefing paper, prepared by the Nuffield Trust for Research and Policy Studies in Health Services, examines how local clinicians and managers are working together to develop closer service integration and less fragmented care for patients in the United Kingdom. The paper focuses on what is facilitating or impeding change, as well as setting out proposals for policy-makers in order to enable more rapid progress towards developing better coordinated services.
A study published in the Lancet concludes that psychological intimate partner violence is strongly associated with postnatal depression, independent of physical or sexual abuse. The finding has significant policy and program implications, given that the focus is often placed on prevention of physical violence, rather than psychological violence.
The United States Council of State Governments’ Justice Center has launched a new online discussion forum on justice and mental health issues. The forum, funded in part by the US Department of Justice, is intended for mental health care providers, justice services staff, police officers and policy-makers. The forum is designed to facilitate exchange of ideas about the design and implementation of criminal justice/mental health initiatives. The forum offers the opportunity to ask questions of experts in the field, discuss programs and strategies with peers, and read about current issues and challenges facing other programs across the US. To access the forum, visit www.consensusproject.org.
An estimated 0.5 percent of the world’s population lives with dementia, according to the World Alzheimer Report, published annually by the UK-based group Alzheimer’s Disease International.
A UK-based study reveals higher rates of self-harm among young Black women when compared with those of White and South Asian background. The study analyzed incidences of self-harm among three ethno-racial groups — White, South Asian and Black African-Caribbean — at six emergency departments in Manchester, Derby and Oxford. The research contributes to knowledge about the impacts of racialization and gender on mental health.
Better diet quality is associated with lower prevalence of depressive and anxiety disorders among women in Australia, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.