In many ways, we’re sad to see 2008 go. We passed some great milestones during the year here at Psych Central, including topping 80,000 members in our collective communities and reaching more people through our website than in any previous year. We started our first two new blogs — Bipolar Beat and Celebrity Psychings — which have both already been great successes.

As much as I’m sad to see the year go, I’m excited for the possibilities that 2009 brings. We’ll be rolling out a few more new blogs in 2009, carefully finding insightful and interesting writers who understand how to really tackle mental health topics head-on in a positive manner. We’ll be integrating more of our services and working to make things simpler and easier to access. We’ll also be expanding the topics we cover, and providing more in-depth coverage of professional meetings that provide actionable research findings. And of course we’ll continue to do it all in our laid-back style, ensuring we don’t couch things in psychobabble or require you to have a doctorate degree in psychology to understand.

I’m also going to take this moment to renew my personal commitment to you, our readers, who have come to rely and depend upon Psych Central as the leading independent mental health network online today. We greatly value our independence, which brings us the freedom to tackle any topic we feel like, even if it may not always be a popular choice. It also allows us to roll out new services and features in a more timely manner.

As we enter our 14th year online, we remain committed to working toward breaking down the stigma and misinformation that constantly surround mental health concerns. Whether it be fighting against overly simplistic explanations such as referring to mental disorders as “brain diseases” (they are not), or once again writing about how mental health services are chronically underfunded by all city, county and state governments (and virtually ignored in the general health care system), our mission stays the same: Help people make good decisions when it comes to their mental and emotional health by providing them with timely and relevant information, research, news, support, and analysis.

So thank you for reading our blog this year, and thank you for supporting Psych Central this past year. Your support signifies the value of independent resources like ours, so we’ll continue doing more of what we’ve been doing and hope you’ll join us in 2009.

Happy New Year! May your year be peaceful and full of success and happiness.