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Taking Issue   |    
A Time of Change for Psychiatric Services
Howard H. Goldman, M.D., Ph.D.
Psychiatric Services 2009; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.60.2.139
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The beginning of every year brings hope for positive change. That optimism is heightened with a new president and federal administration. Progress can be made on many fronts in national and world affairs and in our own corner of the health care sector. In 2008 we welcomed two new laws providing parity coverage for mental disorders, and we have entered 2009 with some momentum toward a transformed mental health system.

It is a time of change at Psychiatric Services, too. Like many publications, the journal has seen advertising revenues fall and must now find other ways to cover expenses. Some journals are moving to online-only publication to eliminate printing and mailing costs—an idea that was considered but rejected. Currently, nearly 17,000 APA members receive a free subscription. This member benefit—provided only on request—was introduced in 2002, when it was thought that no more than 10,000 members would sign up. In a way, the journal is a victim of its success. Printing and mailing costs are high and continue to rise.

APA can no longer provide Psychiatric Services as a free member benefit. Beginning with the July 2009 issue, members who want to receive the journal must purchase a subscription—it is being offered to members at a discounted rate, subsidized by APA [more information inside front cover]. In approving this change, the APA Board of Trustees expressed continued strong support for Psychiatric Services and endorsed the importance of its focus on services research and on improving care for people with severe mental illness.

Last year, in an independent survey, readers gave Psychiatric Services very high ratings in quality, credibility, readability, and breadth of topics. When asked, "What single publication offers you the most valuable information on psychiatric/mental health issues?" an overwhelming majority answered "Psychiatric Services." We know that our readers value the journal, and if you are an APA member, we ask that you convert your free subscription to a paid one.

We will continue to edit the journal just as it has been for many years. We are making no changes in policy or practice. Along with our dedicated staff and editorial board, our excellent reviewers, and the many fine researchers who look to Psychiatric Services as an ideal forum for presenting their findings, we will continue to work hard to produce a high-quality and useful publication. We also look forward to reporting on changes that will occur in the delivery of mental health services at a time of dramatic promise for our country and the world.

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