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Kids’ stuff
  1. Steven Reid, Editor
  1. Evidence-Based Mental Health

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One of the former EBMH editors, Peter Szatmari, left us with a parting request: that we should try to include six abstracts relating to child and adolescent mental health in every issue. This, he argued, was only fair given that kids make up roughly one quarter of the population. That we manage to achieve this fairly consistently is an indicator of the vitality of this area of research. A glance at the headlines in the medical and lay press indicates why this should come as no surprise: the rising prevalence of autistic spectrum disorders and possible explanations; ADHD and the role of psychostimulants; SSRIs and depression in adolescents. Weighty issues with relevance to all mental health professionals, regardless of specialty, as we know that childhood adversity and psychopathology has a profound impact on adult lives. In this issue of the journal, we have two special articles focusing on children and adolescents. The Department of Health for England has recently revised its guidance on alcohol consumption in pregnancy, now advocating complete abstinence rather than the occasional drink. Kapil Sayal (page 98) looks at what we really know about the effects on mental health of prenatal exposure to alcohol. Despite a flurry of recent trials and guidelines, it is still not clear how best to treat depression in adolescents. This is partly due to the shadow cast over the prescription of SSRIs following the selective reporting of adverse effects—notably suicidal thinking—in drug trials. Also in this issue, Bernadka Dubicka and Paul Wilkinson sort through the available evidence and find that the UK NICE guidance is already out of date (page 100).

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