The newest addition to the APA journal family, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal (PRJ), is publishing studies with the potential to help people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and other disorders live healthy, productive lives.
"Living in their communities, improving the quality of their relationships, having something meaningful to do with their time — those are the goals we are focused on helping people achieve," says journal co-editor Kim Mueser, PhD, executive director of the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University. "These larger goals put things like alleviating symptoms and avoiding relapse in their proper context."
Since the publication of its first issue in 1977 by the United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (USPRA) in partnership with the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, PRJ has promoted the development of new knowledge for the field of psychiatric rehabilitation and continues to evolve and gain recognition, says co-editor Judith Cook, PhD, director of the University of Illinois at Chicago Center for Mental Health Services and Policy. Since partnering with APA last summer, the journal has been bringing that message to a larger audience than ever.
"Psychiatric rehabilitation is an interdisciplinary field and one that many psychologists are not exposed to during their formal academic training," she says.
Cook and Mueser, who began editing the journal in 2012, hope to change that because psychologists are well positioned to make important contributions to the field. Mueser, for instance, helped develop the Illness Management and Recovery Program, an evidence-based intervention that encourages people with serious mental illnesses to articulate their goals for recovery and tap into their support networks. Cook has conducted research on another program, the Wellness Recovery Action Plan, which uses peers to teach techniques for reducing symptoms and staying healthy.
Given these areas of expertise, it's no surprise the new editors' first special issue will focus on self-care strategies for people with serious mental illnesses. PRJ accepts a broad range of submissions, including studies advancing the development of rehabilitation programs, first-person accounts from people with serious mental illnesses and their family members, and papers exploring public policy issues.
"Our goal is to instill hope and provide people with the help and tools they need to make desired changes in their lives," Mueser says.
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