John M. Grohol, Psy.D. is a pioneer in online mental health and psychology. Recognizing the educational and social potential of the Internet in 1995, Dr. Grohol transformed the way people could access mental health and psychology resources online. Pre-dating resources from the National Institute for Mental Health, professional associations, and mental health advocacy organizations, Dr. Grohol was the first to systematically publish online the diagnostic criteria (and offered interactive quizzes) for common mental disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia. His leadership has helped to break down the barriers of stigma often associated with mental health concerns, bringing trusted resources and support communities to the Internet.
He has worked tirelessly as a patient advocate to improve the quality of information available for mental health patients, highlighting quality mental health resources, and building safe, private support communities and social networks in numerous health topics.
After receiving his graduate training in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University in 1995, Dr. Grohol co-founded and oversaw Mental Health Net, which was one of the largest mental health portals at the time. While there, he published the first online self-help book, Psychological Self-Help (authored by the late psychologist Clay Tucker-Ladd, Ph.D.).
Recognizing the connective social power of the Internet from his time spent on BBSs in the 1980s and Usenet in the early 1990s, he started the first large-scale online mental health self-help support community on the web in 1996. In 2001, he created one of web’s first online mental health support group communities. Originally housed at Psych Central, it is now independently run by Dr. Grohol and a team of volunteers. He also runs NeuroTalk, a self-help community for neurological concerns.
During his career, Dr. Grohol designed and successfully implemented the mental health centers for drkoop.com (headed by the former Surgeon General of the United States, C. Everett Koop, M.D.) and Steve Case’s Revolution Health in 2005. He helped bring one of the first and largest online therapy (e-therapy) clinics to popularity in 2000 and led the firm to its successful sale in 2006.
He is an award-winning web designer, as well as an information architect and one-time open-source developer, having written and released a blogging platform in 1999 (OpenJournal). Working in their marketing department, he was Segway’s web designer and manager for four years in the early 2000s.
Although he still does web development work, Dr. Grohol is focused on his role as a mental health and human behavior/technology expert and writer. He is the co-author of Self-Help That Works (Oxford University Press, 2013), the author of The Insider’s Guide to Mental Health Resources Online (Guilford, 1996-2003), and is a published researcher.
He is a co-founder and was the first treasurer of the Society for Participatory Medicine, and leads the non-profit he founded, Help & Heal Mental Health Fund. He is also a board member of the non-profit International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression.
Dr. Grohol has chaired, keynoted and presented at dozens of symposia about online mental health and psychology at meetings throughout the world, including SXSW, the American Psychological Association, Psychotherapy Networker, and others. Psych Check-Up Test checks on the status of your psychological well-being. He previously sat on the boards of the journals, Computers in Human Behavior and Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
He was also a founding member, fellow and the first president of the International Society for Mental Health Online. He is also a past open-source developer, information architect, and web designer.
Dr. Grohol was the founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Psych Central (https://psychcentral.com/), one of the world’s largest mental health resources online, from 1995 until its successful sale to Healthline in 2020. Psych Central was named one of the Top 50 Websites in 2008 by TIME.com. He no longer has any formal association with Psych Central.
Dr. Grohol regularly reports on the latest science in mental health psychology, dissecting bad research, and adding his personal thoughts on the world of psychology and its intersection with technology. He is also a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and This Emotional Life‘s editorial boards. He is the publisher of New England Psychologist, a 30-year-old quarterly trade publication for clinical psychologists in the New England region.
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