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Mental health awareness

Mental health awareness

Among people under the age of 65 years, nearly half of all ill health relates to mental illness but only a quarter of all those with mental illnesses such as depression are in treatment. Here, you can find news stories and articles on topics ranging from antidepressant use during breastfeeding to the use of antipsychotics in care homes.

Image: Self Portrait 15, painted 27th June 1991 from The Self Portrait Series by Bryan Charnley. © James Charnley and SANE ( Described by the artist as: "An extremely complicated picture as I feel I am closing in on the essential image of my schizophrenia."

Nikki Holmes, head of pharmacy for forensic services at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

How pharmacist Nikki Holmes helps mental health patients on their journey from high secure services to recoverySubscription


Nikki Holmes is head of pharmacy for forensic services at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, as well as immediate past president of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy. Here she talks to Julia Robinson about forensic mental health, how she entered the field and why she could never go back to “normal” pharmacy.

Mental health communication concept

The crucial role of pharmacists in mental health Subscription


Pharmacists’ role in mental health is wide ranging and spans different sectors and settings. However, pharmacists often lack confidence in this area. More hands-on experience early in a pharmacist’s training could help build confidence and raise awareness of the specialty as a possible career path.

John Mowat, multi-site pharmacy manager for LloydsPharmacy and lead pharmacist based in the Carleton Clinic, a mental health hospital in Carlisle

My life as a mental health pharmacist in a specialist hospital


As a multi-site pharmacy manager for LloydsPharmacy and lead pharmacist based in the Carleton Clinic, a mental health hospital in Carlisle, John Mowat talks about his career and role in providing the medication supply service for Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust.

Boy with Down's Syndrome listens to a healthcare worker

Reducing antipsychotic prescribing in people with learning disabilities Subscription

By ,

Pharmacists and healthcare professionals are ideally placed to review and reduce inappropriate prescribing of psychotropic medicines in people with learning disabilities safely and effectively.

Picture from the PReDicT (Predicting Response to Depression Treatment) emotion recognition

Personalised treatment for depression on the horizon: predicting response to antidepressantsSubscription


Only one-third of patients with depression benefit from the first antidepressant they try, but researchers are striving to find biological features that predict how a person will respond to particular drugs so they can tailor treatment from the beginning.

Close up of an electroencephalogram measuring a young girl's brain connectivity

Autism: in search of new drug targetsSubscription


Genetic discoveries have invigorated autism research and raised the possibility of finding drug targets based on autism’s underlying pathophysiology, rather than merely treating symptoms.

More on Mental Health Awareness

Mental health support ss 17

More needed to support pharmacists with mental health problems, MPs told

Employers and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) should do more to prevent mental ill health among pharmacists and to support those struggling with mental health episodes in the light of the death of talented young pharmacist Alison Stamps, MPs have said.

Illustration of woman hanging on to balloons in the shape of drugs

Why women who misuse drugs have different needsSubscription

Two editorials published in The Lancet and Addiction highlight how little is known about women and drugs, pointing to a blind spot in our collective knowledge

Illustration of child in a haze

Antidepressants are not a ‘quick fix’ for children and young people with mental health problemsSubscription

Mental health professionals are becoming increasingly concerned that antidepressants are being used as a sticking plaster as waiting lists for specialist psychological treatments get longer and longer.

doctor explaining lung x-ray to patient

Lung cancer diagnosis increases risk of suicide fourfold

Patients diagnosed with cancer have a greater risk of suicide than the general population, and the risk is highest in those with lung cancer, according to a US study.

teenagers vulnerable to violence-related injury

Suicide risk for adolescents who drink and use drugs

Adolescents admitted to hospital as an emergency for drug, alcohol, or violence-related injury have a similar risk of suicide over the next ten years to an adolescent admitted for self-harming, a study published in The Lancet on 25 May 2017 has found. 

Pregnant woman reading medication information

Studies cast doubt on link between autism and antidepressant use in pregnancy

Two large studies have found no clear association between antidepressant use by pregnant women and the risk of autism in their children, suggesting that previous research showing a link may have been skewed by other factors.

Opioid painkilling drug Oxycodone

Study highlights overdose risk from concurrent opioid and benzodiazepine use

Taking opioids together with benzodiazepines — often prescribed to treat anxiety and sleep problems — is linked to an increased risk of opioid overdose, according to the results of a study published in The BMJ.

A patient taking a tablet of the antidepressant drug fluoxetine

Doctors prescribe antidepressants for off-label indications without evidence

More than 40% of off-label prescriptions for antidepressants have no strong evidence for the indication, increasing risks of adverse drug events, large study shows.

insulin pen PerPlex

Around one in six patients does not collect newly prescribed treatment

Around one in six patients fails to get a prescription filled the first time it is prescribed for them by a doctor, according to new research.

RPS English Pharmacy Board

English Pharmacy Board meeting: 26 January 2017Subscription

The English Pharmacy Board (EPB) met for its first board meeting of the year on 26 January 2017, at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)’s London headquarters in Wapping, east London.

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