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Journal Information


PLOS Mental Health will connect experts from across the mental health, counseling psychology, psychiatric, behavioral medicine, and social science communities as well as those with a lived experience of the topics we cover. By rapidly disseminating research and ideas from a broad range of disciplines and diverse global, local, and individual contexts, we strive to enable deeper understanding, discussion, and action in addressing challenges in the field and improve health and well-being around the world.


PLOS Mental Health is a global, multidisciplinary, Open Access journal that brings together research relevant to improving the mental health and well-being of all people around the world. Work published in the journal will range from academic research, clinical research, technology to support improved mental health, the impacts on social inclusion, to policy and governance.

The journal will consider all types of treatments and interventions that are evidence-based and rigorously researched, including community and peer-led activities, and digital/online support.

We consider submissions in areas including, but not limited to: access to mental health care; behavioral economics; behavioral medicine; clinical psychology; cognitive developmental disorders; cognitive function; emotion; epidemiology of mental health; environmental impact on mental health; health psychology; lived experience; mental health conditions; mental health treatments and therapies; neuropsychology; personality disorders; psychiatry; risks to mental health; socio-economic aspects of mental health; and well-being.


PLOS Mental Health publishes primary Research Articles, as well as occasional Editorials, Opinions, and Reviews.

Journal Sections

PLOS Mental Health is comprised of the following research sections:

Behavioral Medicine and Mental Health Economics
Integrates biological, behavioral, psychological, social and economic factors to inform and understand mental health system performance globally. This includes implementation or cost-effectiveness of treatments, clinical approaches and public health interventions.

Cognition and Mental Health
Explores how changes in cognition can affect or relate to expression of mental health throughout life. Contexts include but are not limited to developmental disorders, dementia, aging and injury.

Community Mental Health
Focuses on promoting good mental health and/or preventing mental ill health within communities and identifying community-specific needs to better inform services, implementation and access.

Diagnosis and Classification
Contributes to the development of tools and approaches that improve the accuracy of diagnosis and classification of conditions. We are particularly interested in efforts that improve early detection and/or prevention of mental health conditions in all communities.

Digital Mental Health
Advances services for mental health conditions via online or mobile technologies. These can be in the context of detection, prevention, treatment or access to services.

Epidemiology of Mental Health
Deepens understanding of the etiology, conceptualization and prevalence of mental health conditions in society. We are especially interested in epidemiological studies which aim to inform prevention.

Environmental Impacts
Investigates the effects of our surroundings and external events on mental health. This includes the effects of climate change on mental health (eco-anxiety, ecological grief), especially community-specific effects.

Lived Experience and Advocacy
Explores the impact that lived experiences have on our understanding and treatment of mental health conditions. Examples include lived experience-led initiatives, service delivery, peer-led service delivery, peer support, advocacy, co-production of research and destigmatization.

Mental Health Psychology
Advances our understanding of the process of human thinking, feeling, decision-making and behavior to inform therapies and policies that impact individuals, communities or societies.

Focuses on mental health experiences in different neurodivergent communities. We welcome submissions that not only address the potential effects of some neurodiverse conditions on mental health but also the strengths that some provide and community advocacy.

Occupational Mental Health
Seeks to understand and increase awareness of occupation-specific factors that can affect mental health to better support employees, reduce stigma and improve inclusion. We also consider the development of workplace efforts policies to support the mental well-being of employees.

We welcome all submissions related to clinical psychiatry. Examples include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychosis, suicidology, addiction, personality disorders, risk factors, child and adolescent psychiatry, forensic psychiatry and psychiatric treatments.

Public Mental Health and Policy
Focuses on improving the public’s mental health through local, national and international efforts. This includes improving the lives of those with mental health conditions, promoting well-being and preventing poor mental health.

Socio-economics and Political Approaches
Advances our understanding of the social, economic and political factors that influence or are influenced by mental health in different communities globally.

Underlying Mechanisms of Mental Health Conditions and Therapies
Seeks to increase our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of mental health conditions and/or relevant therapies. Preclinical or neuroimaging studies should have a direct clinical application. We will also consider studies that are aimed at critiquing and optimizing models of mental health conditions.

Well-being and Emotion
Efforts towards maintaining or improving mental well-being of individuals, communities and societies as well as understanding emotions and the benefits of emotional processing through therapies.

Criteria for Publication

  1. The study presents the results of original research.
  2. Results reported have not been published elsewhere.
  3. Experiments, statistics, and other analyses are performed to a high technical standard and are described in sufficient detail.
  4. Conclusions are presented in an appropriate fashion and are supported by the data.
  5. The article is presented in an intelligible fashion and is written in standard English.
  6. The research meets all applicable standards for the ethics of experimentation and research integrity.
  7. The article adheres to appropriate reporting guidelines and community standards for data availability.

Editorial Oversight

The Editors-in-Chief and Executive Editor partner with an international board of Academic Editors to thoroughly review each submission.


Charlene Sunkel

Rochelle Burgess

Executive Editor

Karli Montague-Cardoso

Submit Your Manuscript

For more information about submitting to PLOS Mental Health, read our guidelines for preparing a submission.

Publication Fees and Alternative Models

PLOS Mental Health is supported by our Global Equity model which enables institutions to partner with PLOS and eliminate publication fees for their authors in regionally equitable ways. Under this model, institutions geographically located in Research4Life countries are automatically included, and these authors will never be subject to fees. A full list of our publication fees, funding initiatives and fee assistance information is available here.

Open Access

PLOS applies the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license to works we publish. Under this license, authors agree to make articles legally available for reuse, without permission or fees, for virtually any purpose. Anyone may copy, distribute, or reuse these articles, as long as the author and original source are properly cited. Learn more.

Journal Impact and Article Metrics

PLOS does not consider Impact Factor to be a reliable or useful metric to assess the performance of individual articles. PLOS supports DORA – the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment – and does not promote our journal Impact Factors. We will provide the metric to individuals when specifically requested.

Read more about our pledge with DORA.

PLOS promotes the use of Article-Level Metrics (ALMs), which enable scientists and the general public to engage more dynamically with published research. ALMs reflect the changing impact of research over time, incorporate academic as well as social impacts of research, and assess the impact of research before the accrual of academic citations. Read more about ALMs.

Indexing and Archiving

To ensure research is widely accessible and discoverable, PLOS submits all of our titles to major indexing services for evaluation as soon as possible according to the schedule of the specific service. Once PLOS Mental Health begins publishing content, we’ll update this page to show where the journal is currently indexed.


PLOS is a nonprofit, Open Access publisher empowering researchers to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication.


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