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Mental Health and Addictions


For older items of news, please see our news archive.  

Stephen Fry in conversation with Professor Christina van der Feltz-Cornelis for York Unlimited

The York Unlimited campaign of the University of York is aiming to transform mental health on a local, national and international scale, through supporting on the ground initiatives and the latest groundbreaking research. As a tireless campaigner, supporter and advocate for everyone experiencing mental health problems, the team behind the York Unlimited campaign thought Stephen Fry would be the perfect person to invite to speak with Professor Christina van der Feltz-Cornelis about the University of York’s efforts to improve mental health and wellbeing in many forms, reaching out from the University to the city's communities and beyond. Watch their conversation 

New research on electronic cigarettes to help smokers with mental health problems quit and reduce harm

Academics from the University of York and University College London are to lead a major new trial, funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research, to establish whether integrating the offer of a vaping starter kit to mental health patients who smoke helps increase the number who quit successfully. Read more 

Dr Elena Ratschen & Dr Emily Shoesmith presenting at the ESRC Festival of Social Science

They will present a short talk on Human-animal interaction before and since Covid-19: lessons and priorities for research, policy and practice (UK event). Book your place 

DIAMONDS project runner-up in service users and carers award

The DIAMONDS research project is runner-up in a national competition to highlight the best examples of service user and carer involvement in mental health research studies. Read more

York to lead a national study on the impact of Covid-19 on mental ill-health under £2M funding announcement

The impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on people with severe mental health illnesses is now being studied by researchers in partnership with mental health provider, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.

The research project - Optimising Wellbeing in Self-isolation study (OWLS) - explores how people with severe mental ill health have experienced the pandemic restrictions and how they dealt with the social consequences of lockdown. It will also investigate the impact of coronavirus on their physical health. Read more

Loosening regulations on controlled drugs during the covid-19 pandemic

Bureaucracy is preventing timely and adequate access to controlled drugs during the covid-19 pandemic. Read more

Covid-19 - are we rationing who we care about?

Certain vulnerable groups risk being left behind in our response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Read more

Focusing on GHB ignores the more common involvement of alcohol in sexual assault

Recent high profile sexual attacks have drawn attention to the drug GHB, yet Ian Hamilton writing in the BMJ underlines how much more commonly alcohol is weaponised in cases of sexual assault. Read more

New project launched to reduce work stress

A European collaborative project aimed at reducing work stress started January 1st 2020, in which the University of York is one of the collaborating partners. It is led by the Spanish partner in Barcelona, funded with € 3.99M by the EU Horizon 2020 programme. EMPOWER envisions improving workplace conditions and employee mental health and well-being at the workplace. Read more

Computerised CBT could help reduce waiting lists in the treatment of depression in adolescents

Using a computerised version of cognitive behavioural therapy to treat depression in children and young adults has the potential to improve access to psychological therapies and reduce waiting lists, a new study suggests. Read more

Suicides reduced by 17 per cent in new collaborative prevention programme

A new suicide prevention programme which includes swift access to specialist care and 12 months of telephone follow-ups has shown to reduce deaths by 17 per cent. This is the first outcome of a programme called Suicide Prevention by Monitoring and Collaborative Care (SUPREMOCOL) that brought together care services and key community agencies to create a cohesive network who worked together with the aim of diminishing preventable deaths by suicide. The design of this systems intervention is published in the BMC Psychiatry. Read more 

New guidelines for prescribing medicinal cannabis

New guidance from NICE leaves us no clearer about the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis.  Read more

World Mental Health Day on Thursday 10 October 2019

Mental and physical health are equally important and indivisible, since there is 'no health without mental health'. An event entitled 'Putting mental and physical health on the same page' is taking place to celebrate World Mental Health Day. For further details see our Eventbrite page 

Antidepressants may reduce anxiety more than depressive symptoms

Researchers have discovered that a commonly used antidepressant also leads to an early reduction in anxiety symptoms.  Read more

York awarded funding for mental and physical health multimorbidity 

Professor Simon Gilbody will lead the Mental and Physical Multimorbidity theme as part of the NIHR Yorkshire and Humber Applied Research Collaboration. Professor Gilbody said “... there is no health without mental health.  We are delighted that the York expertise in these areas will drive innovation and research for the benefit of people in the region'' Read more

Over 8,000 people with severe mental ill health have now joined the research-ready Closing the Gap: Health and Wellbeing Cohort

The cohort is an important resource that underpins the Closing the Gap network - a UKRI-funded network to understand why people with severe mental ill health face some of the most profound health inequalities. Read more

New intervention doubles quit rate among smokers with severe mental illness

Results of the SCIMITAR+ trial led by Simon Gilbody have shown that people with severe mental illness are twice as likely to quit smoking when offered support.

The full study results can be read here:

Read the findings 

Christina van der Feltz-Cornelis along with collaborators have recently published the following:

'Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) in outpatients with anxiety and depressive disorders and their association with psychiatric and somatic comorbidity and revictimization. Cross-sectional observational study' in the Journal of Affective Disorders (PDF , 368kb).

'Pain as a risk factor for suicidal ideation. A population-based longitudinal cohort study' in General Hospital Psychiatry (PDF , 237kb).

'European mental health research resources: Picture and recommendations of the ROAMER project' in European Neuropsychopharmacology. (PDF , 924kb).

Paper published in Anthropology & Medicine

Jerome Wright and Limbika Maliwichi-Senganimalunje (University of Malawi) have published an article entitled 'Pluralism and Practicality: Village health workers’ responses to contested meanings of mental illness in Southern Malawi' in which they explore how personal, social and cultural influences inform causative attributions for mental health problems and people's help-seeking decisions.  Findings emphasise the need for mental health task-shifting interventions to work with communities to discern authentic and practical responses to mental distress.

 E-cigarettes more effective than nicotine replacement therapies

E-cigarettes are almost twice as effective as nicotine replacement treatments, such as patches and gum, at helping smokers to quit, according to a new clinical trial. Read more

Majority of people with severe mental ill health would like to be more physically active, new research suggests 

Taking part in regular physical activity is linked to a more positive outlook on general health in people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, according to a new report. Read more

York awarded funding for mental health network

 The University of York has secured £1.2m funding to form an innovative mental health network which will focus on improving physical health and reducing health inequalities for people with severe mental illness. Read more