People seeking mental health support can access a wide range of evidence-based medical and psychological interventions.
Our researchers are constantly exploring safer and more effective mental health therapies. This includes biomedical and psychosocial interventions.
One exciting area of research is the exploration of medications that can modify the course of illnesses from a very early age. This could represent a major leap towards prevention of mental illness: a change from a reactive (acting after the illness occurs) to a proactive approach (acting before the illness occurs).
This study by Professor Philip McGuire and colleagues found that cannabidiol can alleviate symptoms of psychosis, such as hearing voices or feeling paranoid. Importantly, it is also safe and lacks significant side-effects. This pioneering study sets the stage for future research on cannabidiol as a potential ‘new class’ of treatments for psychosis.
This study by Cathy Davies and colleagues found that a single dose of intranasal oxytocin has a positive effect in the activity of the hippocampus in people at-risk of experiencing psychosis. This opens the door for oxytocin as a potential novel preventive intervention, that merits further investigation.
In this clinical study, Professor Tom Craig and his team investigated the efficacy and safety of a novel brief therapy for distressing auditory verbal hallucinations (AVATAR therapy). In AVATAR therapy, people with psychosis who experience persecutory voices engage in conversation with a digital representation of the auditory hallucinations (avatar). The results of the study indicate that AVATAR therapy is effective in reducing the frequency and severity of persecutory voices in people with psychosis.