Book: London and Its Asylums, 1888-1914 – Politics and Madness

Book Title:

London and Its Asylums, 1888-1914 – Politics and Madness.

Author(s): Robert Ellis.

Year: 2020.

Edition: First (1ed).

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan.

Type(s): Hardcover and Kindle.


This book explores the impact that politics had on the management of mental health care at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 1888 and the introduction of the Local Government Act marked a turning point in which democratically elected bodies became responsible for the management of madness for the first time.

With its focus on London in the period leading up to the First World War, it offers a new way to look at institutions and to consider their connections to wider issues that were facing the capital and the nation.

The chapters that follow place London at the heart of international networks and debates relating to finance, welfare, architecture, scientific and medical initiatives, and the developing responses to immigrant populations.

Overall, it shines a light on the relationships between mental health policies and other ideological priorities.

Beyond Paranoia & Panic: Mental Health Strategies to Combat the Psychological Impact of COVID-19

Research Paper Title

Mental Health Strategies to Combat the Psychological Impact of COVID-19 Beyond Paranoia and Panic.


On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) an international public health emergency after the number of cases soared across 34 regions in Mainland China and surpassed that of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003.

The virus was believed to have originated from a wholesale seafood market in the city of Wuhan in the province of Hubei towards the end of December 2019.

Shortly after, the number of cases increased exponentially in Wuhan and nearby cities and provinces before spreading throughout the world.

Located approximately 3,432 km from the epicentre of Wuhan, Singapore is a densely populated city-state of 5.7 million who saw 1,592,612 international visitors in 2019; of these, 380,933 were visitors from Mainland China.

After a tourist from Wuhan was identified as the first case of COVID-19 infection on 23 January 2020 in Singapore, the country responded decisively by initiating a series of public health measures to contain the outbreak that included travel advisories, restriction of entry into the country by individuals who had travelled to Mainland China in the preceding 2 weeks, mandatory quarantine for contact cases and rigorous contact tracing of individuals linked to confirmed COVID-19 cases.

You can access the full article here.


Ho, C.S., Chee, C.Y. & Ho, R.C. (2020) Mental Health Strategies to Combat the Psychological Impact of COVID-19 Beyond Paranoia and Panic. Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore. 49(3), pp.155-160.

College Students & Substance Use: Do They Require different Strategies for Prevention & Intervention?

Research Paper Title

Cumulative Risk of Substance Use in Community College Students.


Substance use in community college students has been explored in only a handful of studies.

Differences in population characteristics and substance use between 2- and 4-year students suggest that different factors may promote and thwart this behaviour.

Cumulative risk is a parsimonious methodology that provides better model stability and more statistical power, yet it has only been recently used in substance use research.

The aim of this study is to investigate multiple aspects of substance use risk in a population in need of substance use prevention and intervention services.


The researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of community college students (N = 288; 75% female) examining the relative contributions of different domains of cumulative risk (eg, life stressors, academic stressors, and mental health diagnoses) to develop different profiles of risk across substance use classes (ie, alcohol, cigarette, marijuana, and hard drug use).


Cumulative risk analyses indicated that alcohol and tobacco use were associated with the domains of life stressors and peer/family substance use, marijuana use with peer/family substance use and stressful childhood experiences, and hard drug use with peer/family substance use, lack of social support, low access to care, and stressful childhood experiences.


Different strategies for prevention and intervention may be necessary to effectively address different forms of substance use in this population.

Scientific Significance

The risk domain profiles related to specific drugs may lead to targeted interventions to reduce substance use in community college students.


Salgado García, F., Bursac, Z. & Derefinko, K.J. (2020) Cumulative Risk of Substance Use in Community College Students. The American Journal on Addictions. 29(2), pp.97-104. doi: 10.1111/ajad.12983. Epub 2020 Jan 3.

Are Community-Based Psychiatric Services Essential to Mental Health?

Research Paper Title

The Relationship Between Hospital and Community Psychiatry: Complements, Not Substitutes?


Community-based psychiatric services are essential to mental health.

For decades, researchers, advocates, and policy makers have presumed that expanding the supply of these services hinges on reducing the supply of hospital-based care.

Cross-national data from the World Health Organisation call this presumption into question.

Community and hospital psychiatry appear to be complements, not substitutes.


Perera, I.M. (2020) The Relationship Between Hospital and Community Psychiatry: Complements, Not Substitutes? Psychiatric Services (Washington, D.C.). doi: 10.1176/ [Epub ahead of print].

Health Policies: Consider the Direct & Indirect Cross-effects between Mental Health & Physical Health

Research Paper Title

The relationship between physical and mental health: A mediation analysis.


There is a strong link between mental health and physical health, but little is known about the pathways from one to the other.

The researchers analyse the direct and indirect effects of past mental health on present physical health and past physical health on present mental health using lifestyle choices and social capital in a mediation framework.


They use data on 10,693 individuals aged 50 years and over from six waves (2002-2012) of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

Mental health is measured by the Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES) and physical health by the Activities of Daily Living (ADL).


The researchers find significant direct and indirect effects for both forms of health, with indirect effects explaining 10% of the effect of past mental health on physical health and 8% of the effect of past physical health on mental health.

Physical activity is the largest contributor to the indirect effects.

There are stronger indirect effects for males in mental health (9.9%) and for older age groups in mental health (13.6%) and in physical health (12.6%).


Health policies aiming at changing physical and mental health need to consider not only the direct cross-effects but also the indirect cross-effects between mental health and physical health.


Ohrnberger, J., Fichera, E. & Sutton, M. (2017) The relationship between physical and mental health: A mediation analysis. Social Science & Medicine (1982). 195, pp.42-49. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.11.008. Epub 2017 Nov 8.