Mental Health Libraries

Locating the right website can be a daunting task!  But also very rewarding.

You can gather information, resources, ideas, book suggestions, and much more. Some sites, for example, describe various mental health patterns, and give diagnostic and treatment information. Like any other question or topic you research on the web, the source of the information matters a great deal.

Search engines can produce thousands of hits for you. But which sites are reliable?  When it comes to mental health issues, most of the reliable sites are sponsored by one of the following:

  • Centers or Institutes associated with major universities
  • Governmental organizations that specialize in mental health
  • Non-profit foundations devoted to certain problems
  • Sites created by mental health professionals for particular concerns

You notice that I have not included social networking sites and blogs on this list.  These communal sites can be quite helpful in many ways, as they provide forums for people to talk with each other about a particular problem they are having.  The information provided often is more experiential than thorough or reviewed.  And that may be all you want or need.

But generally, if you are looking for reliable and thorough information that has been reviewed and synthesized by professional researchers and clinicians, then you’ll likely want to look at sites sponsored by organizations on the above list.

Even though I’m listing some sites I think are valuable, you may find ideas with which you disagree. If so, then be cautious. Before immediately implementing something you read, you may want to think about it for a while longer, or consult with a professional with whom you have developed a successful working relationship in the past. If you decide to try a new approach to a problem, try it for a limited time. If you like the results, continue. If not, maybe the suggestion isn’t for you.

Below are several libraries of on-line mental health information.  If you have a particular question, I recommend checking several sites rather than just one of them.  This list is arranged alphabetically.

Athealth.com Reviews mental health books, treatment centers, newsletters that have been recommended by therapists

Internet Mental Health Provides clinical definitions of specific mental health problems

Mayo Clinic Extensive collection of articles on many mental health topics

Medline Plus Service of the United States National Library of Medicine, and the National Institutes of Health

Mental Help Net Reviews of books on mental health

National Institute of Mental Health Government sponsored organization with the mission of sponsoring research in the public interest, and reporting on findings to the general public

Psych Central Large collection of resources, support groups, references

Stanford University Health Library Sponsored by Stanford Hospital & Clinics this site provides scientifically-based mental health information

WebMD Wide variety of health information intended to be credible and timely