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Am Fam Physician. 2000;61(5):1235

January 2000 ushered in the AAFP's new Annual Clinical Focus (ACF), an educational initiative on mental health. This program, developed in cooperation with the National Institute of Mental Health, American Psychiatric Association, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and National Mental Health Association, is designed to bring physicians state-of-the-art clinical information on mental health. Corporate sponsors of the ACF program are Bristol-Myers Squibb, Schering Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Company, Janssen Pharmaceutica Products, L.P., and SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals.

In recognition of the AAFP's focus on mental health, AFP will mark articles that exemplify the ACF with a special logo—just look for the symbol in the table of contents. Clinical learning objectives for the 2000 ACF pertain to mental health problems commonly encountered by family physicians, including depression, anxiety, panic disorder, somatization, substance abuse, child and adolescent behavior disorders, family violence, psychoses and dementia.

Articles appearing in AFP over the next year will cover many of these topics, supplementing the funded elements of the ACF program. The sponsored components of the program will include a supplemental AFP monograph on the diagnosis and management of depression and anxiety disorders, which will be accompanied by a series of patient information handouts.

On page 1423 of this issue, you'll find the second part of a two-part article on somatization, which wears the ACF logo. The article, written by David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., Ph.D., Gary Tabas, M.D., and N. Randall Kolb, M.D., offers a plan for managing patients who have somatization disorder and includes a patient information handout that may help patients understand their disorder. The first part of the article, addressing the diagnosis of somatization disorder, appeared in the February 15 issue (Am Fam Physician 2000;61:1073–8).

An accompanying editorial on page 1282, entitled “Early Diagnosis and Empathy in Managing Somatization,” by Katherine L. Margo, M.D., and Geoffrey M. Margo, M.D., Ph.D., explores problems and frustrations physicians encounter in managing patients with somatization disorder.

This issue of AFP also contains a special collection of patient information handouts covering various problems in mental health. Starting on page 1523, you'll find a collection of handouts on depression, seasonal affective disorder, anxiety and panic, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Upcoming issues will feature other patient information handouts on mental health issues, including a collection on substance abuse.

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