Bradley hosts workshop on the DSM-5

Mental health professionals meet in Bradley's Westlake Hall to discuss the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, also known as DSM-5.

October 1, 2012

By Steven Johnson ‘13

With the latest edition of psychiatry’s diagnostic manual due out next year, mental health professionals have a lot to learn.

That’s why Dr. Nancy Sherman, a professor and clinical coordinator, and Dr. Lori Russell-Chapin, a professor and associate dean at the College of Education and Health Sciences, both hosted a workshop on the new edition at Bradley’s Westlake Hall to help professionals absorb the new information and prepare for any changes.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, also known as DSM-5, guides the classification, treatment and research of mental illnesses for professionals like psychologists, counselors, social workers, psychiatrists and nurses. Dr. Russell-Chapin said the DSM-5 is an important and influential diagnostic tool that all mental health professionals employ, which is why familiarizing oneself with the new edition is so important.

“The DSM-5 is published with what is called the international classification of diseases, which lists all medical concerns and also mental health disorders,” Dr. Russell-Chapin said. “We classify these so we can tell a story and talk the same language.”

The DSM-5 is the fifth version of the manual and is scheduled for release in May 2013. The last time it was revised was in 1999.

Dr. Russell-Chapin said the workshop gathered 132 professionals, who came from various health agencies, private practices or hospitals.

“Everybody was in the same boat and what they are trying to do now with these major revisions is make sure that the diagnostic criteria is valid. If I diagnose someone, you want it to be really exact because you are talking about a person’s life,” she said.

Dr. Russell-Chapin called the event a success and added that Bradley has a responsibility to “spread new knowledge” in the community. She said the workshop also allowed the college to demonstrate the state-of-the-art technology featured in the newly-renovated Westlake.

“It had wonderful technology and it was so much fun to do the workshop because we could interface with the internet, we had flat screen televisions for this large group and I felt that we did exactly what a university has to do,” Dr. Russell-Chapin said. “I was excited our department stepped up to the forefront.”