This month, Psych Central passed a truly historic milestone. We officially have had over 500 million people visit our site to find information and support on a mental health, relationships, or parenting problems. That is a humbling, amazing event, and one we do not take for granted.
Forgive us as we take a minute to celebrate and look back over the past 23 years of service to the public.
Psych Central was born out of necessity in 1995, as a place to keep online support group indexes I authored and maintained since 1992. The indexes were needed because back then, there was no web. Support groups lived in an idiosyncratic garden called Usenet newsgroups that acted like today’s web-based forums. Finding a particular group, however, meant knowing the group’s specific name and under what category it fell. Being able to look up the name of the depression support group (alt.support.depression) was a helpful aid to others.
When the web seemed like it was going to be a thing, it made sense to put these indexes on a website so that people could access them anytime. That site I called Psych Central: Dr. John Grohol’s Mental Health Page. It initially consisted of about a dozen pages.
That small site landed me my first full-time job out of graduate school, building a site I dubbed Mental Health Net. It quickly became the Internet’s largest commercial mental health site, and competed with fledgling medical websites including DrKoop.com and WebMD.com. All the while, in the background, I continued building and adding to my personal site (Psych Central).
After bouncing around a few years at various startups (including one of the first e-therapy providers in 1999), I found myself making the leap to running Psych Central full-time in 2006. Over the past 12 years, the site has grown greatly from just myself and a handful of other part-timers, to what it is today. Now housing more than 75,000 articles and overseen by an awesome editorial and contributing staff, we also have hundreds of bloggers, a thriving self-help support group community (with over 6 million posts and 500,000 members), and dozens of interactive mental health screening and psychology quizzes.
What makes Psych Central’s rise over the years even more amazing is that it has been done without a dime of outside investor money. We bootstrapped with the money we made from the site itself. No outside investors means I spend most days focused on oversight and what I love doing most: creating and editing of high-quality mental health content.1
In short, we’re simply a site about mental disorders and mental health run primarily by mental health professionals. That seems like a really good combination!
Over 500 Million Visitors
Google Analytics — which tracks traffic to our site — has been installed since the early 2000s. When those numbers are added to our historical numbers, the resulting sum tells me that we passed 500 million visitors this month. I don’t know the exact date, since over seven million people come to our site for information or support every month. But it’s safe to say that this has been a milestone a long time in the making.
I want to sincerely thank you, all of our loyal readers, and the very special group of individuals who work hard on Psych Central every day to bring you the quality, trusted content you’ve come to expect. I especially want to thank our fabulous Managing Editors, Sarah Newman, MA, MFA (main site) and Susan Gonsalves (Professional), as well as the amazing editors who make things happen here every day: Bailey Apple, David McCracken, MA, LPC, Victoria Gigante, Gabe Howard, Margarita Tartakovsky, MS, and Dean Rotbart. We also couldn’t do our work without the energy and focus of Lani Gregory and Michele Bitinis, as well as Brandi-Ann Uyemura, Patrick Newburn, and Alicia Sparks. I’d also like to thank all of the other staffers who write and work for us, as well as great team of bloggers who continually publish awesome content on a wide variety of topics.
We couldn’t have done it without all of you. Thank you!
- I love the fact that I run a small Internet publisher and get to spend zero time talking about money, investor reports, future financing, or share price. [↩]