John M. Grohol, Psy.D. is a pioneer in online mental health and psychology. Recognizing the educational and social potential of the Internet in 1995, Dr. Grohol has transformed the way people could access mental health and psychology resources online. Pre-dating the National Institute for Mental Health and mental health advocacy organizations, Dr. Grohol was the first to publish the diagnostic criteria for common mental disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. His leadership has helped to break down the barriers of stigma often associated with mental health concerns, bringing trusted resources and support communities to the Internet.
He has worked tirelessly as a patient advocate to improve the quality of information available for mental health patients, highlighting quality mental health resources, and building safe, private support communities and social networks in numerous health topics.
“In his many years hosting this popular site, psychologist John Grohol has come to consider himself the conscience of online mental health — and he takes the job seriously.”
After receiving his graduate training in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University in 1995, Dr. Grohol co-founded and oversaw Mental Health Net, which was one of the largest mental health portals at the time. While there, he published the first online self-help book, Psychological Self-Help (authored by the late psychologist Clay Tucker-Ladd, Ph.D.).
Recognizing the connective social power of the Internet from his time spent on BBSs in the 1980s and Usenet in the early 1990s, he started the first large-scale online mental health self-help support community on the web in 1996. In 2001, he created the world’s first mental health social networking community at Psych Central.
During his career, Dr. Grohol designed and successfully implemented the mental health centers for drkoop.com (headed by the former Surgeon General of the United States, C. Everett Koop, M.D.) and Steve Case’s Revolution Health in 2005. He helped bring one of the first and largest online therapy (e-therapy) clinics to popularity in 2000 and led the firm to its successful sale in 2006.
Dr. Grohol is a psychologist, mental health and human behavior/technology expert, co-author of Self-Help That Works (Oxford University Press, 2013), the author of The Insider’s Guide to Mental Health Resources Online (Guilford, 1996-2003), and is a published researcher.
He sits on the scientific board of the journal, Computers in Human Behavior. He is a co-founder, board member, and was the first treasurer of the Society for Participatory Medicine, and sits on the boards of Psych Central’s affiliated non-profit, Psych Central Community Connection, and the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression.
Dr. Grohol has chaired, keynoted and presented at dozens of symposia about online mental health and psychology at meetings throughout the world, including SXSW, the American Psychological Association, Psychotherapy Networker, and others. He is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists, and was also previously an open-source developer, information architect, and web designer.
Dr. Grohol was the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Psych Central for 25 years, until the property’s sale to Healthline Media in August 2020. He remains on with Healthline in a consulting role.
Dr. Grohol continues to regularly write on the latest science in mental health psychology, dissecting bad research, and adding his personal thoughts on the world of psychology and its intersection with technology.