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How Psych Central Is Different

Psych Central isn’t like most Internet publishers, or even companies, today. We’re built different from the ground-up because we know there’s a right way to provide mental health information, and a wrong way.

We’re run by mental health professionals.

We don’t just have a token mental health professional or physician on staff here at Psych Central. The site was founded and is run by experienced, caring mental health professionals who wanted to provide the most accurate, objective, and unbiased information possible on mental health, psychology, and related concerns.

We’ve designed our site to be about you, not us.

Most health sites today speak from a single point of view — experts providing information to patients. It’s all about their expertise, rather than understanding that mental health isn’t a pure science. Mental health care requires all points of view to be heard, because so much of it is personal to the individual. There’s no one “right” treatment for a person. Recognizing that, we’ve always featured patient voices and perspectives on our site. (Oh, and our founder also helped found one of the largest empowered patient advocacy organizations, the Society for Participatory Medicine, open to all to join.)

Information is nothing without support.

It’s all fine and well to read about some aspect of mental health online. But where do you go next? How do you take those first steps toward recovery? That’s why for the past 15 years, we’ve run one of the largest mental health support communities online — to offer people a safe and supportive environment for their next steps.

Our founder is also a researcher.

We understand the need for science to inform the discussion around mental health. So much so that our founder, Dr. John Grohol, is also a researcher that has published peer-reviewed research in the area of online intervention, information, and its usefulness to others. This isn’t just a company — this a place where we passionately believe we need to contribute to the body of knowledge we’re disseminating.

We keep advertisers at arm’s length.

Unlike other Internet companies, we don’t have an advertising department — a decision made on purpose, by design. Since day one, we conduct the vast majority of our advertising campaigns through third parties (e.g., outside companies sell our advertising for us). Why is that important? It means we keep an arm’s length distance between the editorial team and any sales that happen, so there’s little danger of bias creeping into our perspective.

We designed our company around the gig economy — since 2006.

Long before the “gig economy” became a thing, we were doing it, bootstrapping our company to hire the best freelance editors and writers to work with Psych Central. That means we work with some of the best, most passionate professionals who recognized the power and flexibility of being your own boss.

We are not beholden to commercial interest or outside investors.

Most Internet companies have investors and other outsiders they need to answer to. If it’s a public company, they also have to answer to their shareholders. This puts incredible pressure on such companies to perform quarter after quarter to do only one thing — increase their stock price. That may or may not have anything to do with providing you the highest quality mental health information possible. We don’t have that problem, as we run our business like any small business does — within our means.

We’re not the latest fad, celebrity, or yet another organization fighting against stigma.

You can’t go a month without seeing some new organization, celebrity, or spokesperson speak up against the prejudice and discrimination that comes with mental illness. And that’s great — we love to have more voices share in the conversation! But sometimes their focus is short-lived, and they move on to other causes. Or they lose momentum after an initial burst of attention. We’re not like that… We’ve been here for over two decades (we were founded in 1995), and plan on continuing to provide the steady stream of information and support resources about mental health for many years to come.

Yup, we’re old. And that’s a good thing.

We understand the attractiveness of the latest shiny new thing to try and do something different with technology to help people with their recovery efforts. Some new resources and technologies can be really quite promising and interesting. But we’re not that, and we’re okay with that. We believe it’s important to offer people a foundation — a rock, if you will — of a mental health resource that won’t go away a year or two from now. We know how to find, analyze, and publish amazing mental health research and information, and we think that’s a really important skill to have.

Dr. Grohol is a pioneer in the field.

Last, Psych Central is overseen by Dr. John Grohol, a pioneer in the field of mental health online. He got his start back in 1991 on the Internet for mental health support groups, and has been working tirelessly ever since as a modern, alternative voice for mental health advocacy. He knows the pros and cons of technology in helping people with recovery, and is dedicated to improving the world’s mental health during his lifetime.

Read about our dedication to mental health.