Twitter, the online social networking service featuring 140-character tweets, might not sound like a resource for psychiatrists, but you’d be wrong. The “Twitterverse” is filled with accounts dedicated to mental health, from the American Psychiatric Association, to an open forum for mental health chat, and several Twitter feeds dedicated to discussions on health policy related to psychiatry.
With a plethora of Twitter accounts related to mental health in existence, which ones are worthwhile for psychiatrists and other mental health clinicians to follow? Psychiatry Advisor has done some exploring and we present our picks for the top sevenTwitter feeds for psychiatrists to follow.
1. The American Psychiatric Association
Lifestyle Intervention Improves Weight Loss, Glucose Levels in People Taking #Antipsychotics. http://t.co/mfBb1GRTEWRelated Content
— American Psychiatric (@APAPsychiatric) September 15, 2014
One of the most popular Twitter accounts relevant to psychiatrists is @APAPsychiatric, from the American Psychiatric Association. After more than five years online (the feed started in June 2009), @APAPsychiatric now boasts more than 32,300 followers. Besides posting on the latest happenings within the professional organization, one of the account’s strength is that it also retweets information from other Twitter accounts that is of interest for its members. This is helpful to practitioners as the account is somewhat of a clearinghouse for information that can be directly applied in practice.
2. APA Healthy Minds
National Suicide Prevention Week is from 9/8 to 9/14. Find info and resources on #suicideawareness here: http://t.co/aahSmWqZ17 #NSPW
— APA Healthy Minds (@APAHealthyMinds) September 9, 2014
The APA has another Twitter account, @APAHealthyMinds, which is self-described as the association’s “resource for anyone seeking mental health facts.” Although much of the content is geared toward the lay person curious about mental health issues, many of the tweets are also useful to mental health professionals as well. This includes posts provided by the association’s newspaper, Psychiatric News.
3. Paul Summergrad, MD
Living With Schizophrenia: The Importance of Routine http://t.co/4pQDDVVoZN via @nytimeswell A wonderfully written story of #recovery
— Paul Summergrad (@paulsummergrad) September 5, 2014
Paul Summergrad, MD, the APA’s current president, has his own Twitter account (@paulsummergrad) worth paying attention to. As one of the country’s most recognizable psychiatrists, Summergrad has a good eye for finding articles and other information that is extremely relevant to psychiatrists. Also, if you have a global interest in psychiatry, he keeps abreast of mental health developments occurring outside of the United States.
4. Paul Appelbaum, MD
Thoughts on battling criminalization of persons with mental illness from a mental health court pioneer: http://t.co/rKbb78zUAI
— Paul Appelbaum (@appelbap) September 10, 2014
Finding information about legal and ethical issues related to psychiatry is tough, but luckily, Paul Applebaum, MD, has an active Twitter account (@appelbap). Applebaum, the director of the Columbia University’s Center for Research on Ethical, Legal & Social Implications of Psychiatric, Neurologic & Behavioral Genetics, is one of the country’s foremost experts on law and clinical practice.
Applebaum, like Summergrad, is mostly engaged in retweeting articles, though his instinct for finding interesting content makes his account worth following.
5. Columbia Psychiatry
WATCH: Dr. Kathleen Pike @ColumbiaGMHP director, on #globalmentalhealth as critical healthpriority http://t.co/yqcMI6oEs3 #suicideprevention
— Columbia Psychiatry (@ColumbiaPsych) September 13, 2014
While many psychiatrists associated with academic medical centers engage in research, the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York is particularly good at updating their Twitter account, @ColumbiaPsych, with news and information relevant to practitioners.
One of the ways @ColumbiaPsych sets itself apart is it provides links to regular podcasts the institution does with its mental health professionals as part of a partnership with the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Some of the topics discussed are rather unique. For example, one recent podcast featured Ali M. Mattu, PhD, of the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders, discussing diagnosis, symptoms and treatment of hair-pulling disorder.
6. Kennedy Forum
MT @emkinstitute “Thx to @PJK4brainhealth & Sen Ted Kennedy #mhparity law comes alive now via HHS rule pic.twitter.com/tQjonjQzRl “
— The Kennedy Forum (@kennedyforum) November 8, 2013
Founded by former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, a passionate supporter of mental health issues, the aim of the Kennedy Forum (@KennedyForum) is “uniting the community of mental health.” While much of the account is focused on information on Kennedy’s appearances discussing mental health, it also provides updates especially on community mental health, as well as legislation impacting mental health in general.
7. Psychiatry Advisor
New Feature: Facing The Diagnostic Challenge of Comorbid Bipolar Disorder and ADHD http://t.co/HdFytTpcyb #bipolar #Bipolardisorder #ADHD
— Psychiatry Advisor (@PsychiatryAdv) September 5, 2014
While you’re tweeting, don’t forget to follow Psychiatry Advisor on Twitter (@PsychiatryAdv), which is updated throughout the day with the latest features, news, and opinion for mental health professionals.
Jonathan Block is the digital content editor for Psychiatry Advisor.