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New public psychiatry textbook written by Yale Psychiatry faculty

June 20, 2016

Advanced students in public psychiatry at Yale are using a new textbook that was written and edited by faculty members of the Yale Department of Psychiatry.

The Yale Textbook of Public Psychiatry is the first comprehensive textbook of public psychiatry published by the department, and possibly the most complete interdisciplinary collection of material on the subject, according to its editors, Selby C. Jacobs, MD, professor emeritus of psychiatry; and Jeanne L. Steiner, DO, associate professor of psychiatry.

The 291-page textbook, published by Oxford University Press, includes contributions from 74 faculty members representing virtually all of the department’s training sites and research interests. The foreward was written by John H. Krystal, MD, Chair of the Yale Department of Psychiatry; and Robert M. Rohrbaugh, MD, Deputy Chair for Education and Career Development, and Residency Program Director.

“It did bring together from across the department people who would not otherwise run into each other and within this venture could collaborate,” Steiner said.

Jacobs added, “It generated a lot of excitement among clinician educators. It’s remarkable that this breadth of experience exists within one department of psychiatry.”

The project took three years to complete, and the publishing was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary in 2016 of the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC) in downtown New Haven.

CMHC, one of the oldest community mental health centers in the United States, is a center for training and research by members of the Yale Department of Psychiatry.

The textbook defines public psychiatry as the part of the practice of psychiatry that is publicly funded or paid for by entitlements such as Medicaid.

The Yale Department of Psychiatry launched a fellowship in public psychiatry nine years ago to provide advanced training in clinical, administrative, and legal aspects of the practice of psychiatry within the public sector, including policy development on a statewide level.

The fellowship helps develop trainees to be future leaders within the field of public psychiatry by providing didactic and interactive learning experiences, mentorship, and opportunities to engage in scholarship.

The textbook offers a comprehensive framework for teaching public psychiatry to advanced students. Its 19 chapters are separated into four sections that discuss the service system of public psychiatry, system integration challenges in public psychiatry, services and clinical competencies of public psychiatry, and system development in public psychiatry.

Its editors say the textbook is guided by educational principles such as recovery concepts, person-centered care, and interdisciplinary teams working in a system of services.

Steiner, the medical director at CMHC, and Jacobs developed an outline for the content and chose the first authors. An editorial board and first authors further refined the content, and invited the second authors to contribute.

The submissions were edited by Steiner and Jacobs, with help from the editorial board. The editors originally wanted the writing to have universal application, but because there is no standard system of public psychiatry in the U.S., the authors were told to use the Yale and Connecticut systems to base their writing.

Copy was sent to the publisher on March 31, 2015, and Steiner and Jacobs read and edited the proofs, a process that took about seven months. Printing took place in early 2016, and the resulting product – with its two-toned blue cover – impressed the editors.

They hope the textbook will be used by other universities, or state owned and operated departments of public psychiatry. The publisher will send the book out to be reviewed in journals and at conferences, and then it will be marketed to other professional schools and state departments.

“It really is about fostering the next generation,” said Steiner, who added a second edition could be published if the first edition proves useful to people.

In the meantime, the editors are preparing for a formal book launch scheduled for September 29, the day before a gala that will celebrate CMHC’s golden anniversary.

Royalties from the sale of the textbook will be put in an education fund to benefit professional students in public psychiatry at Yale.

Submitted by Christopher Gardner on June 20, 2016