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The following review appeared in the December 2014 issue of CHOICE:
[Visited Sep'14] Symptom Media, founded by Donald Fidler (emer., West Virginia Univ.), a highly experienced psychiatrist, educator, and filmmaker, is a subscription-based "online mental health education and training film library." It provides an easy, respectful, and accurate way to visually portray mental health issues and diagnoses in a wide variety of educational and treatment settings. Actual patients were not used in the production of these films. The site is simple to access and navigate. Currently, it contains over 160 well-produced contemporary films guided by the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9 and ICD-10). The varying lengths of available films, 30 seconds to 15 minutes or longer, make them ideal teaching tools, easily integrated into educational and treatment programs. The main page highlights four specific videos. The Training Library tab lists all the videos, organized by DSM-5 or ICD-9 or ICD-10 categories. The text for each video is also included. Series available include First Responder, Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders, and Child and Adolescent. The publisher plans to launch more series in the future.
In addition to what would be expected in content related to diagnostic categories, the site features other robust content, including assessment tools, case scenarios, and testing materials. A variety of pieces demonstrating coping/defense mechanisms and achievement of stages of development (Erik Erikson and Lawrence Kohlberg's theories) provide rich material for classroom or treatment discussions. Videos can be shared by e-mail or via social networking sites. Users can also register to receive the Symptom Newsletter. The uniqueness of this resource lies in its easy adaptability to educational audiences ranging from the general public/community to higher education and from treatment recipients to treatment providers. The use of these films may also provide a quantitative means of formative evaluation for student clinicians. Both individual and enterprise licensing options are available; detailed information can be found in the site's Subscribe section (http://symptommedia.com/subscribe/).--M. M. Slusser, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey