Note: The news section covers news, particularly on 
psychiatry and psychology online, managed by News
Section Editor Don P. Corriveau.

Opinions and comments are invited. Please send them to
the PsychNews Int'l mailboxes: psychnews@psychologie.de 
and pni@badlands.nodak.edu

                        WHAT'S NEW ON NEWS? 

                      Donald P Corriveau, PhD


As Managing Editor and News Section Editor, I extend my 
appreciation to Sunkyo Kwon, Editor-in-Chief, for assigning me 
this position.

Consistent with the on-line nature of this publication, the News
Section will feature a lot of Internet-related news. In 
particular, this section will address Internet activities relevant
to the international community of mental health professionals. 

As discussed in previous articles (1,2), the Internet has had a 
profound impact on the mental health professions. This includes
methods by which professionals communicate to one another. 
Communication was indeed the central theme that emerged from a 
poll of PsychNews International readers (3).

As an interesting anecdote,  Sunkyo, on January 31, 1998, sent me 
an Email message notifying me of a conference dedicated to 
technological innovations in teaching. Were it not for the 
convenience of the Email format,  I wonder if Sunkyo would have 
bothered to prepare and send a hard copy correspondence through 
airmail from Berlin. This may be a mute question in that the 
deadline for the receipt of the proposal was January 31, the same 
day I was notified!  That evening, I wrote a brief abstract,
completed the proposal form and Emailed the material to the
conference organizers. In this example,  Email needs to be 
credited for the timely submission that resulted in the paper's

Incidentally,  the conference is scheduled for April 6-9, 1998. 
What may interest you is this conference's location - Cyberspace!
Presentations will be posted on the conference webpage from March 31,
1998 through  April 6, 1998. A condition of acceptance is that
presenters will respond to private and public email questions and
comments from conference participants. Additionally, each presenter
will be scheduled for a one-hour MOO session on one of the three
conference days. The MOO sessions will be an informal medium for
presenters to meet with participants. 

As an electronic publication, PsychNews International is another
example of technology-enhanced communication. In addition to the 
advantages made possible by the asynchronous (one-way) nature of 
this medium,  our "News Section" will also make use of synchronous 
possibilities. Specifically, we plan to become better "networked" 
with our readers..

In subsequent issues,  the content of PsychNews International will be
greatly influenced by this networking. The Internet provides the 
technology to facilitate this process. As a PsychNews International
reader,  you will be encouraged to provide "feedback" to the
editorial staff in one of two ways, 1) "replying" to the Email
version or 2) completing web based electronic forms. Please take an
active role in shaping the content of future publications by 
completing a very brief survey. After all, PsychNews International
exists for your benefit!

Below is a brief survey asking you to indicate your preferences
for subsequent issues. "Copy and Paste" the survey section into 
a new Email message and send it to READERSHIP@CEUS.COM. If you 
prefer to submit an electronic form,  point your browser to 
http://ceus.com/pni/survey3.htm .

Please indicate your interest in prospective topics by placing a 
code number within parentheses :

     3    Very interested
     2    Somewhat interested
     1    Not interested
     0    Not sure

(      )	Psychotechnology
(      )	On-line Psychotherapy
(      )	Telehealth
(      )	Software for Mental Health Professionals
(      )	Software (Internet or computer related)
(      )	Internet Conferences (Proceedings or Reviews)
(      )	Prescription Privileges for Psychologists
(      )	Internet Resources for patients/clients
(      )	Mailing Lists and Newsgroups related to Mental Health
(      )	Reviews of Mental Health Web Sites
(      )	Managed Care
(      )	International Psychology
(      )	On-line Behavior
(      )	Netiquette
(      )	Other 

Please describe other suggestions here:

Each of the following questions are optional. The information is 
intended to better understand our readership (especially those who
play an active part in shaping
this section's content). 


Highest Degree?:



Other comments?:

Thank you for your assistance in shaping PNI's direction. Please feel free
to send any comments, criticisms, or recommendations to PNI-DC@ceus.com.

Donald P. Corriveau, Ph.D., F.P.P.R.   
Department of Psychology    
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth   
North Dartmouth, MA 02747 USA


1) Corriveau, D. P.,  On the Behavior of Scientists or the Impact of the
Internet on Psychology: Part I. http://www.mhnet.org/pni/pni24b.htm

2) Corriveau, D. P.,  On the Behavior of Scientists or the Impact of the
Internet on Psychology: Part II. http://www.mhnet.org/pni/pni25b.htm

3) Corriveau, D. P., Results of Survey on the Impact of the Internet on
Mental Health Professions. http://ceus.com/results.htm.


                    THE BIRTH OF A NEW SOCIETY 

                      John M. Grohol, PsyD


Attempts have been made in the past to organize mental health 
professionals online to help promote the use of online 
technologies. Most notably, Interpsych, begun in 1994, sought to 
bring an organizational structure to a set of professional
mailing lists. These attempts, however, have enjoyed limited 
success. This limited success appears to be related to the 
often-vague goals of such associations, limited membership 
(often only for certified professionals), and to the difficulty 
in organizing inherently asynchronous, independent media (mailing
lists) across professional disciplines. None of these limitations,
however, are insurmountable given the proper focus, goals, and

In 1997, I organized and chaired two symposia at the annual 
convention of the American Psychological Association on online 
topics. The topics covered the broad areas of research into online
behavior and the wide variety of uses psychologists have for the
Internet (from therapy online to online professional communities).
Even in the midst of a convention of psychologists, however, a
psychiatrist known online agreed to participate, bringing an 
important multi-disciplinary flavor to the presentations.

Before the convention, a mailing list was setup to encourage 
discussion amongst the various presenters of each symposium. 
A suggestion was made for us all to meet for lunch sometime 
during the convention in August, 1997, in a more social setting, 
where we could all hang out for a while. Most of us had never met
one another in-person, but may have known one another online 
for years.

During lunch, the conversation gradually turned to the realization
that most of our colleagues and certainly many consumers don't
have the slightest idea about the benefits and drawbacks of the
online world. To most people, the idea that significant beneficial
work (and some unintended consequences) is being conducted online
is unknown. In addition, even though most of us around the table
were aware of one another's work, we were not often in direct
communication or contact. There was little professional
collaboration occurring amongst the group, even though it was 
evident that such collaboration could be beneficial. We envisioned
a society of keeping the lines of communication open across
disciplines, inclusive of mental health consumers, to coordinate
online work in community-building, research, and clinical offerings.

How best to try and capture some of this energy and enthusiasm we
all felt at the table, and convey those sentiments to others? 
Forming a society, international in scope and purpose (much like
the online world itself), seemed like the next reasonable step.

The new organization formed is devoted to mental health advocacy
and collaboration online for both mental health professionals 
and consumers. This organization, called the International Society
for Mental Health Online (ISMHO), began as a collaboration between
everyone at that lunch. Its focus is multipurpose, inclusive of 
those conducting research online, offering mental health services
of some type, examining group and individual behavior and 
communication, providing educational and psychoeducational 
resources in mental health, and exploring the use of computer-
assisted communication in mental health online.

A mailing list was setup with the initial membership reflecting
the participants of the symposia, and a handful of interested 
others. Martha Ainsworth, an active mental health consumer online, 
was instrumental in organizing our initial vague ideas of the need
for an organization into a well-designed plan for implementation.
A mission statement was drafted and approved, and a bylaws committee
was formed. In early 1998, the final set of bylaws was approved by
the existing members, now up to a few dozen, and an executive
committee was nominated. 

After an executive committee has been elected in early March, 1998,
the organization will incorporate as a not-for-profit corporation
and a formal set of bylaws approved by dues-paying members. Dues
are US$25.00 annually and will be used for typical organizational
expenses, such as the lawyer's fees, real-world marketing 
efforts, etc. 

If you are a mental health professional or consumer and believe 
that a collaborative, open environment for discussion of online
mental health issues is a positive step forward, I encourage you
to join this organization. Our membership has been growing steadily
since the beginning of 1998, and we believe we have the potential
in place to make a real difference. I welcome you to read more 
about the organization on its Web site at:  http://www.ismho.org/
and join our mailing list by sending a one-line e-mail to:  
In your e-mail, simply write:  subscribe ismho your-name
(replace your-name with your name).