The American Sociological Association (ASA) has announced the launch a new journal dedicated to research on the sociology of mental health and illness.
The Society and Mental Health (SMH) journal features original, peer-reviewed studies that apply sociological concepts and methods to the understanding of the social origins of mental health and illness, the social consequences for people with mental illness, and the organization and financing of mental health services and care. Sage Publications will publish the journal three times a year—in March, July, and November.
"The creation of this journal offers the ASA the prospect of asserting its intellectual influence on a spectrum of issues concerning mental health and illness from a sociological perspective that is distinct from solely biomedical, psychiatric, or psychological views," said SMH Editor William R. Avison, a sociology professor at The University of Western Ontario.
SMH's inaugural March 2011 issue includes studies touching on parenthood, mental health services, the stigma of mental illness, and developments in the diagnosis of major depressive disorder.
"Mental health and illness is an issue that impacts individuals, families, and communities as well as the health care system and its ability to serve the public," said Sally T. Hillsman, ASA's Executive Officer. "In that light, we felt it was essential to create a special outlet for high quality research on the sociology of mental health and illness."
SMH is the journal of the ASA's Sociology of Mental Health Section—one of the Association's 51 special interest sections—and the third ASA section journal. The Association also has nine ASA-wide, peer-reviewed journals—including the American Sociological Review, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and Social Psychology Quarterly.
"We are confident that SMH will be a great addition to our already robust suite of sociology journals that advance scholarship and public well-being," Hillsman said.