Top 10 mental health journals

May 16, 2021
14 min read
Sarah Cahill

Like other fields of medicine, the diagnosis, treatment and management of mental illness is continually influenced by new research. Supporting people’s mental health and wellbeing is also well recognised as being fundamental for overall good health, especially highlighted in recent times.

According to the World Health Organization, health systems haven’t yet adequately responded to the burden of mental disorders. While perfecting the system is a little out of our capabilities, what we can do is support mental health professionals with our go-to list of top mental health journals, to help keep up with the latest developments in mental health and translate that into patient care.

Journal metrics

Impact factor: is based on Web of Science data and only includes documents such as articles and reviews. It measures the average number of times an article is cited by other journal articles and documents. An impact factor of 3 or more is considered good, 1 is average. This list uses the 2-year impact factor from SCImago.

CiteScore: is based on Scopus data for all indexed documents, including articles, letters and editorials. Like impact factor, it measures the average citations received per document published in a journal over a 4-year time period.

Impact factor and CiteScore have the most meaning when used to compare journals within the same therapeutic area of subject. Many academics value a journal’s impact factor over its Citescore; therefore they will use the impact factor to rank other journals in the same field.

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR): measures the citations received from a journal but it also considers the importance of the journal where the citations have come from. This measurement can be helpful to rank journals within the same field and category.

Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP): measures citations weighted by subject field. A SNIP over 1.0 means a journal has more citations than average.

World Psychiatry

Impact Factor: 35.642

CiteScore: 32.8

SJR: 9.239

SNIP: 8.434

Top of the list goes to World Psychiatry, the journal of the World Psychiatric Association. All of the content is free to access online and includes research reports, news from the World Psychiatric Association and special interest articles. The journal is published 3 times a year

The Lancet Psychiatry

Impact Factor: 17.420

CiteScore: 25.7

SJR: 6.967

SNIP: 6.635

The Lancet Psychiatry includes a broad range of content, including treatment and management of mental health from a psychotherapy, psychopharmacology and psychosocial approach. Some of its content is open access.

JAMA Psychiatry

Impact Factor: 17.257

CiteScore: 24.2

SJR: 6.847

SNIP: 5.153

Published by the American Medical Association, each monthly issue of JAMA Psychiatry features research, opinion pieces and original investigations about the causes of mental illness, and treatments. Recent articles include the use of antidepressants during pregnancy, genetics of bipolar disorder and youth depression.

Annual Review of Clinical Psychology

Impact Factor: 16.026

CiteScore: 26.3

SJR: 7.696

SNIP: 7.051

Annual Review of Clinical Psychology is relevant for all mental health professionals. It publishes a review of significant developments over the past year in all areas of psychology and psychiatry. It’s published by Annual Review, which also publishes a wide range of journals annually to help progress science and the scientific community.

Molecular Psychiatry

Impact Factor: 13.025

CiteScore: 22.7

SJR: 6.29

SNIP: 2.873

This peer-reviewed journal, published monthly by Nature Publishing Group, focuses on the biological mechanisms that cause mental illness, providing content about pre-clinical and clinical research. Some of the articles are open access.

Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics

Impact Factor: 12.039

CiteScore: 12.4

SJR: 3.53

SNIP: 3.147

Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics is published bi-monthly and as the name suggests, provides readers with review articles, editorials and systematic reviews from a psychotherapy and psychosomatic perspective. Recent issues include the effect of cognitive behavioural therapy for panic disorder, the impact of COVID-19 on mental health, and parental burnout.

American Journal of Psychiatry

Impact Factor: 11.869

CiteScore: 21.9

SJR: 6.071

SNIP: 4.382

The American Journal of Psychiatry is the official journal of the American Psychiatric Association. Each monthly issue includes editorials, research updates and other content relevant for health professionals working within mental health.

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines

Impact Factor: 11.8

CiteScore: 8.053

SJR: 3.218

SNIP: 3.015

Specifically relevant for mental health professionals working with children and young people, the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines is published monthly and focuses on diagnosis, treatments and genetics of child mental illness. Recent issues include autism research, social relationships and the immune system during development, and substance use on adolescent brain function. Some of the content is open access.

Clinical Psychology Review

Impact Factor: 11.682

CiteScore: 19.4

SJR: 5.281

SNIP: 5.424

This monthly journal focuses on clinical psychology, including behavioural therapy and medicine, psychotherapy and child development. The focus is on publishing reviews that aim to advance the science and practice of clinical psychology.

Healthy Psychology Review

Impact Factor: 5.533

CiteScore: 18.3

SJR: 3.259

SNIP: 4.253

Healthy Psychology Review aims to inform people working within health psychology and behavioural medicine. Many of the articles published in each quarterly issue focus on supporting good mental health, with recent issues including a meta-analysis of the relationship between self-compassion and physical health, and the impact of music on stress reduction.

Whether you’re a graduate or an experienced mental health professional looking for new journals to add to your reading list, bookmark this page to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s new in mental health.

And get in touch if you need an expert medical communications agency to help disseminate your mental health messages creatively and accurately.


Mental disorders, World Health Organization

SCImago Journal & Country Rank


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Sarah Cahill
Sarah Cahill is a freelance medical writer. Sarah worked as a nurse for 14 years before a career shift into writing, first working for a medical communications company and then founding Sayline Writing Solutions in 2018. She specialises in plain English medical and health writing.
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