Professional News
APA Journal to Publish Series On Transforming MH System
Psychiatric News
Volume 40 Number 24 page 8-25

The federal government has contracted with APA's monthly journal Psychiatric Services to disseminate information about mental health system "transformation"—the top-to-bottom reform of the nation's service delivery system called for by the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health three years ago.

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Howard Goldman, M.D.: "We try to attend to the needs of our multidisciplinary readership, which includes psychiatrists and other clinicians...." 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has awarded Psychiatric Services $75,000 to support publication of a series of articles related to the work of the New Freedom Commission and initiatives at the state level to implement the commission's recommendations.

The inaugural article by Jürgen Unützer, M.D., on" Transforming Mental Health at the Interface with General Medicine," will appear in the January 2006 issue. The article, like several others planned for the series, is based on a report to the commission by one of the subcommittees that assisted the commission in developing its final report, "Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America."

A second article in the series will appear in May 2006 and will focus on recovery-related issues that need to be addressed in the transformation of mental health services. Future articles appearing throughout 2006 and into 2007 will address issues such as housing, employment, and mental health system leadership. Also planned for publication are case studies from each of the states that has received SAMHSA Mental Health Transformation Grants. (These grants enable states to begin implementing the presidential commission's reform recommendations by supporting development of comprehensive state mental health plans and funding improvements to their mental health services infrastructure.)

Part of the award Psychiatric Services is receiving from SAMHSA will support a monograph compilation of all of the articles, which will be published by American Psychiatric Publishing Inc., once the series is complete. All articles will be solicited by journal editor Howard Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., and peer reviewed.

Goldman said the series is an illustration of how Psychiatric Services serves as both a "journal of record"—documenting the results of important studies or providing commentary on critical issues—and a "journal of voice," sharing scholarly work on topics of interest.

In an editorial that will appear in the January issue, Goldman says the journal balances several interests. "First, it is a professional communication about mental health services, including some papers on substance abuse services, developmental disabilities, and mental health services in general health care settings. Occasionally, we publish papers on clinical matters and on epidemiology, and even a few methods papers, but we focus primarily on mental health services."

"We try to attend to the needs of our multidisciplinary readership," he said, which includes psychiatrists and other clinicians, administrators, policy makers, researchers, and other stakeholders."

He noted in the editorial that virtually all submissions to the journal are peer reviewed. "Psychiatric Services emphasizes external validity along with internal validity," he said. "The generalizability and relevance of our papers to policy and practice are central to the mission and impact of the journal."

Goldman, who is starting his second year as editor, credits the journal's staff, editorial board members, peer reviewers, column and section editors, and a range of editorial consultants with diverse backgrounds for the journal's success.

"Their wisdom gives Psychiatric Services a better voice and makes it a more scientific record of mental health services, reflecting where services are today and where we want them to be in the future," Goldman said. ▪

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Howard Goldman, M.D.: "We try to attend to the needs of our multidisciplinary readership, which includes psychiatrists and other clinicians...." 

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