Reading news stories and press releases about the latest research in your field is no substitute for in-depth learning. However, these sources do offer a broad overview, and usually include names of researchers, whom you can contact for more information.
Here are some time-saving tips to help you stay current:
General news on mental health research
Looking for ideas for a blog post, community presentation or other public education project?
The APA website is a good starting point. Check out the PsycPORT Newswire as well as their press releases. RSS feeds (explained below) are available for both of these.
Eurekalert.org, operated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, aggregates news stories and press releases on a wide variety of topics from academic, medical and government institutions. Here's a link to the latest news in the Social and Behavior category.
Also check out the NIMH website, Science Daily, and the Mental Health Research Network.
Topic-specific research news
When you're looking for recent research on a specific topic, Google can help - but only if you use good keywords and specify filters. Otherwise you'll get a flood of irrelevant results.
For example, research about possible genetic links to depression was recently reported in the news. A simple Google search for depression gene research yields these results - high quality, but not the latest news:
By clicking on the News tab you pull news items to the top of the search results:
To refine news search results even further you can filter by time, down to the past hour. This option appears when you click the Search Tools tab, as shown below:
Search Social Media
Twitter is used by journalists and by researchers to post links to news stories and press releases on various topics. Search by keyword or hashtag - you need not have a Twitter account to search. You can also set up lists that filter for specific journalists and others whom you want to follow.
To search several social media platforms at once try SocialMention or SocialSearcher. These will give you results from Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and others.
Set up News Alerts
Get notified by email when a topic or keyword is mentioned in a news article. It's free and easy to set up at Google Alerts. Also check out SocialSearcher, Talkwalker and Mention.
While we're on the subject of alerts, consider setting up an alert using your name as keywords. That way, you'll get an email when your name is mentioned online. (If your name is a common one, you might want to add your professional degree as part of the alert, so as to minimize the number of false positives. e.g., "Joe Smith, MSW" rather than "Joe Smith")
Some news organizations, such as New York Times and BBC, allow you to set up alerts for topics or keywords in their news stories, and to receive notifications via email, text or designated app.
Set up RSS feeds
When you see this symbol on a website, you can "subscribe" to new content from that site, and have it delivered to your personalized RSS feed reader such as Feedly, gReader app or Newsify.
Subscribe to multiple feeds from various websites, blogs and social media sites and view them all within your RSS reader on your computer or your mobile device, without needing to hop from one website or app to another.
Saving and organizing mental health news content
You're not always ready to use the news content that is available to you. Thus, you'll want to save it, so that you can easily find and access it later. This blog post lists several options.