We chose the website of the Internet Mental Health Organization. This website is dedicated to all the individuals in society, trying to inform them regarding mental health disorders, prevention, and consequences. More specifically, this website is directed to that target group, population, which has experienced (or is experiencing) one or more symptoms of mental health disorder. The website sponsor is the Internet mental Health Organization, and its author is the president of that organization, Philip Long. He possesses an M.D. title which is noted at the head of the website, along with the link to his short biography. The credentials noted in his biography assure the reader that this author has all the necessary college education related to mental health, thus it is a trustworthy source of information. At the end of the biography, there is even his email for direct contact from the website visitors.
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The website is funded by the sources of the organization. At the end of the page, it makes it quite clear that it has no ‘corporate ads’ on it (“Welcome”, 2008). Nevertheless, at the bottom right side of the front page of the website, we do find some Google ads relating to other health sites. The website we are talking about does offer some pay services. These are online testing and counseling services for individuals who find out to have some, if not all, of the mental health problem symptoms described in the content of the website. Nevertheless, this does not constitute any conflict of interest since the organization which owns the website is the same that offers these fee-based services and it does not claim in any part of the website it is an NGO or a charitable organization.
Validity and quality
The purpose of the website is clearly stated on the front page at the top and the date of the update is also stated at the bottom of that same page. The information quality of the website is quite professional. It has a couple of peer review articles and professional opinions from various scholars of the field. We can mention that since the first page it shows extracts of scholarly nursing articles regarding women’s mental health (Boyd et al, 2008). Another scholarly article referred to on the front page is the one “Intimate partner violence and substance abuse among minority women receiving care from an inner-city emergency department” (El-Bassel et al, 2003).
Yet, inside this website, we do find even opinions of the organization’s members who are not scholars or professionals of the field. So, it is a mix of professional literature and public opinion. The content is error-free. It must be noted also that all the links provided in the content of the website are functional.
Quite inherently the website does not have a visible ‘privacy statement’ at the end of it. Since it does not have a visible privacy statement, we cannot assess if it complies with international standards like that of ‘health on the net’. This is the first major leak we find on this website. It is something the owner and administrator of the website should work on. They have put all of that hard work in providing various scholarly articles and sources on their website, yet failed to do the same for privacy standards.
Boyd, M. R. Baliko, B. Mackey, M. Scharer, K. (2008). “Women’s Experiences as Survivors of Violence”. Southern online journal of nursing research. 9(1). Web.
El-Bassel, N. Gilbert, L. Gaeta,T. Schilling, R. Witte, S. Wu, E. Wada, T. ( 2003). “Intimate partner violence and substance abuse among minority women receiving care from an inner-city emergency department”. Women’s Health Issues. 13(3), 16-22. Web.
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(2008). “Welcome”. The Internet mental health Organization Website. Web.