We present this policy to explain how the mental health information on our website is gathered, reviewed and updated. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact us.
Psych Central, established in 1995, has a relationship with dozens of professionals in the behavioral healthcare field throughout the U.S. and the world. These professionals provide much of the content available on Psych Central.
We strive to empower our users with information to help improve their lives. You should be aware that the words, images and tools on our site are provided for informational purposes only and can be used to augment your relationship with your mental health care professional. They are not intended to provide psychological or medical advice, or serve as a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment. Users of our site should always promptly consult with a professional for diagnosis and treatment of specific mental health problems and consult with a physician before starting a fitness regimen. The use of our site is subject to our disclaimer and terms and conditions.
Psych Central’s publisher, John M. Grohol, Psy.D., decides which topics should be included on the website. A goal of our editorial process is to provide consumer mental health information that will address the most frequent inquiries. New topics are chosen based on consumer interest, new developments that influence current practice, advances in prevention and the prevalence of conditions.
Newly created material may originate from Psych Central or a staff or contracted writer, or a Professional Advisory Board member. All text pieces, graphics and tools are subject to a standardized review process.
We go to great lengths to attain our goal of providing accurate, current and useful mental health information. To do this, we primarily rely on the expertise of our experts and Professional Advisory Board. Before material created by us is posted on our site, mental health professionals review the material for clinical accuracy. Our site also contains material created others, news services (such as The Associated Press), government agencies (such as the National Institute of Mental Health), non-profit organizations and other content partners.
- Psych Central has relationships with several government agencies and non-profit organizations that provide material for our site. We use material from agencies and organizations that have been approved as quality sources of information by our primary academic partner.
- Like many other major health websites, Psych Central uses news articles provided by prominent news agencies (such as the Associated Press).
- We also use materials, including information and databases, licensed to us from third parties.
- Psych Central does not publish “sponsored posts” or “paid links”, nor allow such posts or paid links to be inserted into our editorial content. No post, review, or article that we publish has been paid for by a third-party.
We want you to know the source of the material you are viewing on our site. You can find this source information on all material. These are the types of source identifications you will see, either at the top or the bottom of the material:
- Author’s name without a specific affiliation usually denotes content created specifically and originally for Psych Central.
- Material provided by government agencies and non-profit organizations is identified by the name and/or logo of the agency or organization at the top of the material.
- “Used by permission of the copyright owner.” When this notation appears at the bottom of an article and no agency or organization name appears at the top of the article, the material was used with the permission of the original copyright owner.
- “Ask the Therapist” These questions are submitted to Psych Central by consumers and answered by mental health professionals.
- News articles are identified with a date at the top of the article and the name and/or logo of the news service at the beginning of the article.
- The source of material from other third parties is identified in the material.
Our website provides links to many other websites, federal agencies and some private organizations that we feel may be of benefit to our site users. These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement. Psych Central routinely reviews all of the sites to determine whether or not these sites, to the best of their knowledge, produce quality, accurate, and unbiased information. These external links open in a different browser window.
Psych Central maintains absolute editorial independence. That means that Psych Central makes decisions about the information on our site free of outside influence. To maintain clinical accuracy, however, the mental health professionals involved in the review process have editorial control over the clinical accuracy in the materials we create for our site.
We strive to update articles and tools developed by us and our primary partners at least every two years. The date of the most recent review or update is noted at the top or bottom of each article or tool.
Government agencies and non-profit organizations often mark material with the date it was created and keep that date as long as the material remains current. We check with these agencies and organizations that material dated over two years ago remains current. The original date remains on the material, but we add a line — “Current as of …” — to indicate the last date we checked with the source that the material remains current.
We have a conflicts of interest policy for our writers and editors that requires them to reveal to us potential conflicts of interest. Conflicts of interest may be financial relationships, affiliations with groups or organizations, or personal actions. The goal of our policy is to provide consumers with health information on our site that is as free of bias as possible. We require our writers and editors to excuse themselves from working on material and projects for which potential conflicts exist, that is, where a writer or editor has a relationship that could potentially bias the person’s work on a particular topic.
While Psych Central accepts pharmaceutical funding via online advertising, we do not accept or publish any pharmaceutical company-provided information or editorial direction (with the sole exception of pharmaceutical company press releases we may use as the basis for a news story). We maintain a strict division between our editorial and sales efforts. No pharmaceutical company has ever affected anything we’ve written about, nor have we ever retracted anything we’ve published due to a pharmaceutical’s company influence.
Psych Central also accepts review copies of books that we may consider writing a review on. These review copies are passed along to reviewers who have agreed to write an unbiased, editorial review that may be positive or negative. When book reviews are published, they are linked to Amazon.com through an affiliate link. If a user chooses to purchase the book from Amazon.com, Psych Central receives a small affiliate referral fee for that purchase (usually less than $1).
We are an equal-opportunity critic — we have as much criticism for companies acting poorly as we do for non-profit advocacy organizations who do the same. We believe that good science drives good decision-making, so everything we write is driven by good, unbiased research in the field. We believe that not all peer-reviewed research is created equal, so we’re not big believers in “evidence-based medicine,” knowing full-well how the “evidence” can be biased. Instead, we believe in critical thinking about everything presented — treatments, diagnoses, policy decisions, you name it.
This editorial policy may be revised periodically. A date informing you when the policy was last reviewed and updated follows this section. When we make significant changes that affect our editorial policies and practices, we will post a notice on the Psych Central home page for 30 days. We recommend that you read our editorial policy whenever you visit our site in case you missed our notice.