mental health
Doctors Have an Alarmingly High Suicide Rate, and No One is Sure How to Help Them

Medical doctors are more likely to die from suicide than members of any other profession in the US, suggests new research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. And worse than that, few interventions seem to have helped make these suicides less common. Read More >>

health
Kids Raised on Farms Are Healthier in Two Important Ways

Scientists have long speculated that the “dirtier” the environment we grow up in—with lots of germs from different people and even animals—the better off our immune system and physical health ultimately will be. A new study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science provides early evidence that a dirty world might even be better for our mental health, too. Read More >>

genetics
Largest Study of Its Kind Identifies 44 Genetic Risk Factors for Depression

Depression is a tricky beast. Symptoms vary widely from person to person, as does the response to treatment. But there’s no question that genetic makeup plays an important role, and understanding the genetic architecture of depression could help us better understand how to treat it. Read More >>

social media
Lifefaker Outs Our Social Media Mind Games

Lifefaker is a joke, but like all jokes apart from Michael McIntyre's, it also says something deep and serious about how we, as people, think and live. You know, like the boring bits on Stewart Lee. Read More >>

science
Ketamine Nasal Spray Relieves Suicidal Thoughts, but Doctors Worry About Abuse Risk

Ketamine, a drug that’s been retooled as a “breakthrough” in depression treatment, is one step closer to becoming mainstream medicine, thanks to the results of a Phase II clinical trial published this week in the American Journal of Psychiatry. But some experts are wary of creating a new drug-abuse crisis by introducing a potentially addictive drug to millions of new users. Read More >>

drugs
Just One Puff of Low-THC Weed Can Help Ease Sadness, Study Finds

It might take just one puff of cannabis to quickly if temporarily dull depression, depending on the strain, suggests a new study published this month in the Journal of Affective Disorders. But smoking weed for too long might also make you sadder over time, the researchers found. Read More >>

reddit
Reddit Is Helping Some People Deal With Their Mental Health Struggles

Reddit’s gotten plenty of deserved criticism over the years for hosting some of the most toxic communities on the internet. But a new study published this month in the Journal of Medical Internet Research suggests that at least some subreddits are helping people dealing with depression and other mental health issues come out of their shells. Read More >>

science
Study Measures the Benefits of Surgery to Transgender Women

While many transgender people opt for gender-affirming surgeries, little research has been done to examine how such operations may affect their wellbeing afterward. A new study, presented at the annual European Association of Urology conference earlier this month, offers a perhaps more accurate picture of how surgery affects the lives of transgender people. Read More >>

science
New LSD Research May Help Explain the Brain Chemistry of Depression and Schizophrenia

Anyone who’s taken the psychedelic drug LSD (formally known as lysergic acid diethylamide), or had the joy of listening to their favourite relative talk about it over Christmas dinner, knows it can be a utterly bonkers experience. A small new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience seems to offer some insight into what’s happening in the brain while we’re on a LSD trip. And it might even provide a hint as to how certain mental disorders develop. Read More >>

ai
Canada Is Using AI to Study ‘Suicide-Related Behaviour’ on Social Media

This month the Canadian government is launching a pilot programme to research and predict suicide rates in the country using artificial intelligence. The pilot will mine Canadians’ social media posts “in order to identify patterns associated with users who discuss suicide-related behaviour,” according to a recently published contract document. Read More >>

health
We’re About to Find Out If Mental Health Apps Really Work

Australia's largest ever clinical trial into the effectiveness of mental health apps - specifically for preventing depression in adolescents - just received a big chunk of funding. Read More >>

google
Psychologists Think Google Probably Shouldn’t Be Your Therapist

A few weeks ago, Google announced that it had teamed up with a mental health advocacy group to take a stab at addressing the epidemic of depression. People who type the words “clinical depression” into Google search via mobile in the US are now presented automatically with a link to a screening questionnaire to assess their depression. The assertion that Google has the answer to everything just got taken to a whole new level. Read More >>

giz asks
Is Playing an Evil Clown Harmful to Your Mental Health?

With their fanciful costumes and comedic personas, clowns seem like the epitome of joy. But these figures of fun also provoke a horrified response and have even inspired their own phobia. Although it’s not officially recognised in the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 categorisation of disorders, coulrophobia, the fear of clowns, is one of the most commonly known phobias in the public perception. It’s easy to see why clowns are sometimes viewed as icons of fear. Permanent, frozen smiles and uncanny, mask-like makeup inspire nightmarish visions. Read More >>

gaming
Help Research How Video Games Impact Your Mental Health

The broader medical community doesn't take games all that seriously. But there's evidence that shows games can help you relax, reduce stress, and help depression and anxiety. Now, you can help further that research and get games taken a little more seriously — and get healthier, more mentally fulfilling games to boot. Read More >>

spotify
Spotify Now Gives Students A Free Subscription To A Mental Health App

If you've got a Spotify Premium For Students subscription, you now get a freebie: a subscription to meditation, mindfulness and happiness app Headspace. Read More >>