The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is still allowing for public comment on the draft revisions of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders scheduled for publication in 2013.

During an open period for public comment last year, the APA received more than 8,000 submissions from family members, consumers, researchers and clinicians. The latest draft has incorporated some of these comments as well as allowing for ongoing reviews of the latest research. The latest draft will be available for public comment until June 15, 2011.

The most notable change in the proposed fifth edition of the DSM is the structural organization of the entire manual. The APA Web site states that “the proposed framework for DSM-5 re-orders the current manual’s 16 chapters based on underlying vulnerabilities as well as symptom characteristics. The chapters are arranged by general categories such as neurodevelopmental, emotional and somatic to reflect the potential commonalities in etiology within larger disorder groups. Such changes are aimed at facilitating more comprehensive diagnosis and treatment approaches and encourage research across diagnostic criteria.”

The APA is specifically seeking input related to how this might impact consumer care and research. Considering that the last version of the DSM was published in 1994, it could be decades before we see another opportunity such as this.

The link to the Web site is Please note that you will be required to create a user name and password in order to provide comment.

Deadline for public comment on the next DSM ends June 15th!