Topic Ideas

This topic list is necessarily limited. The Editorial Committee will always be open to new and innovative issue exploration.


      • Drug treatment, tobacco policies, injection centres
      • Alcoholism: illness vs choice; harm reduction & dependence
      • Social regulation

Alternative/Complementary Therapies

      • regulation, safety, evidence, training

Brain Science

      • Translation of discovery to clinical domain
      • Biology: disease models, quantum physics and self, imaging, brain mapping


      • Family systems
      • Social supports


      • Service provision, competence, guardianship, decision making, medication use

Clinical Decision Making

      • Diagnostic issues
      • Consent and capacity
      • Restraints
      • Diagnostic categories: DSM evolution, concept of a disorder

Clinician Health/Well-being

      • Difficult patients
      • Drug, alcohol abuse
      • Isolation, support options
      • Stress: burnout, “jaded”

Clinical Training

      • Supervision
      • Role definition / development
      • Program development
      • Education: training, quality, bias, power relationships, modeling, coercion, complicity
      • Qualifications: credentialing, maintenance of certification, discipline/penalties

Community Psychiatry

      • Rural vs urban: resources, supports, skilled care
      • Community agencies: governance, access, staff qualifications, services, funding
      • Mental illness: family burden, social values, cultural norms, myths, stigma, sexism, bigotry, discrimination, racism, media portrayals
      • Poverty: impact on mental health, child/family, literacy, housing
      • Deinstitutionalization: “through the cracks and on the streets”; specialty services, program monitoring, supportive/group homes


      • ethnic/religious groups, culture bound syndromes, codes of ethics variations, translation


      • Codes of ethics in psychiatry
      • Philosophical bases of psychiatric ethics
      • Distinguishing features of psychiatric ethics
      • Psychiatry as a profession
      • Principals of care, free will, autonomy, insanity, irrationality, irresponsibility, trust, respect, informed consent, necessary harm, cognitive science
      • Ethical traditions and systems
      • Ethics committees
      • Sexual rights, sexual abuse
      • Suicide: legislation, morality, rational, assisted


      • violence, risk assessment/prediction, criminal responsibility, managing sexual offenders/predators, confinement, insanity defense, ‘chemical sanity’, police interrogation, false confession


      • gene identification, counseling, risk assessment, testing, screening, gene therapy


      • Cognitive impairment
      • Special vulnerability

History of Psychiatry

      • Remembering and learning from the past


      • Confidentiality, truth telling, safeguards, third parties, uses of information, information management, storage, sharing/disclosure
      • Sources: internet, credibility, quality assurance


      • Information disclosure, refusal, independent medical exams, coercion, medico-legal reports, genetic risk factors


      • Case law, liability concerns, legislation, confinement, forced treatment, capacity, competence, confidentiality, safeguards, oversight, whistle-blowing, jurisdictional differences, future directions

Politics and Policy

      • Policy: studies, commissions, reviews, implementation, resource projections, policy developed in response to tragedy or crisis
      • Politics: funding, prioritization, communication, cooperation, being heard, under serviced areas, lobbying, pressures, barriers
      • Resource allocation: underdeveloped countries, wealthier nations/systems
      • Global mental health standards
      • Advocacy
      • Human rights


      • Use / abuse
      • Corporate / institutional culture
      • Political

Professional Roles

      • Boundary maintenance / violations
      • Discipline specific roles, self regulation, professional organizations / colleges
      • Duties to patients, colleagues, organizations, systems, societies
      • Mental health culture/norms: models, warning and reporting, incompetent/dangerous colleagues, intimidation by patients, mistakes


      • Goals, supports, assistance, maintenance


      • Conflicts of interest, competing interests
      • Industry sponsorship: individual, institutional, non-teaching centers, unreported studies, impact on research directions/reporting


      • Critical appraisal: nature of evidence
      • Use of vulnerable subjects
      • Oversight
      • Consent, assent, social good, acceptable risk, coercion

Special Populations

      • HIV/AIDS
      • Cognitive impairment: mental retardation, brain injury, dementia
      • Chronic pain
      • Chronic illness
      • Psycho-oncology
      • End of life care
      • Torture/war: PTSD, societal wounds, genocide, tribalism, nationalism


      • Role of spirituality in health and healing
      • Psychosis or grace?
      • Denomination specific psychotherapy

Systems of Care

      • Consumer representation, impact, lobbying, bias
      • Mental Health Care Management: models, implementation, change
      • Quality control
      • Quackery
      • Government / private insurance plan coverage for psychotherapy, drugs
      • Psychologists prescribing medications?


      • Psychotherapies: appropriate type, adequate training, adequate funding and provision
      • Physical manipulation of the brain: ECT, psychosurgery, vagus nerve implant, deep brain stimulation
      • Hypnosis
      • Inpatient treatment: privileges, confinement, restraints, returning illicit drugs, violence, assault, sexual activity, staff assault, staff abuse, coercion, infantilization, smoking
      • Medication risk/benefit: TD, newer antipsychotics, depot formulations, quick dissolve, drug approval process, costs/pharmacare
      • Novel treatments: transcranial magnetic stimulation
      • Outpatient treatment: ACT teams, termination of care, risk of abuse/assault/false allegation
      • Patient/Client: refusing medications/treatment, variable competence, consent, substitute decision making, lack of insight, compliance
      • Peer support
      • Placebo effect