About the International Society for Mental Health Online
The International Society for Mental Health Online (ISMHO) was formed in 1997 to promote the understanding, use and development of online communication, information and technology for the international mental health community. ISMHO is a nonprofit organization.
ISMHO conducts all of its official business via the Internet, as our board members (and membership in general) reflects a diverse, international makeup. Most of the active discussion of the organization is conducted on the Members-only mailing list and Board Forums. You must be a member in order to subscribe to our Members Discussion List and Board Forums or access it extensive, multi-year archive. The list archive serves as a valuable resource for researchers, clinicians, and any one interested in the topic of online mental health.
ISMHO provides an online forum for students, teachers, researchers, practitioners and online mental health professionals to discuss current issues and collaborate on projects in the field of online mental health. Subjects which we discuss and about which we share our areas of expertise include current research and publications, standards for online practice, self-help resources such as online communities and forums, online counseling and psychotherapy, online peer supervision, education and training programs, international information and resources, business and technical aspects of online counseling, and online technology and applications.
Members collaborate on projects to encourage and support advancements in the field of online mental health. ISMHO projects and activities include:
- developing and writing the first suggested principles for the provision of online mental health services;
- hosting and facilitating the first online Clinical Case Study Group dedicated to exploring a variety of clinical issues, specific to online mental health services, through online peer supervision;
- publishing online articles, written by the Clinical Case Study Group, on subjects ranging from dealing with transference and countertransference online, to assessing a person's suitability for online therapy, to myths and realities of online clinical work;
- granting annual research awards to students engaged in research in the field of online mental health services;
- networking and participating in outreach activities;
- presenting symposia and workshops at professional conventions;
- facilitating discussion and collaboration between ISMHO and other organizations who share our mission to promote online mental health activities on an international basis;
- providing expertise and guidance to students, teachers, researchers, practitioners, online mental health professionals, professional associations, mental health services, and educational/training programs on a variety of subjects including:
- consulting with professional associations on the development of standards and ethical guidelines related to online practice;
- sharing our expertise and experience with new Internet-based technology, tools, and applications;
- disseminating current research findings and publications relevant to online mental health work; and
- developing a viable model for online multi-disciplinary consultation regarding mental health issues online and the provision of mental health services online.
ISMHO does not endorse or hold any official position about the legitimacy or usefulness of e-therapy (or online counseling). ISMHO has, however, released a set of Suggested Principles for the Online Provision of Mental Health Services in order to help provide a guide to both clients and clinicians about this increasingly popular modality.
Neither does ISMHO endorse or certify individual e-therapists (or online counselors).
ISMHO has over 400 members active in many countries throughout the world. Members are mostly professionals involved in the mental health field, but also include researchers, students, and people interested in mental health topics. There are no membership requirements other than to pay our annual dues.