The present is the future of the past, and the past of the future. This journal as well as this paper endeavour to document the lives and practices of psychiatrists and other mental health care professionals for the future mental health community and to help the clinicians of the future to understand the history and practice of psychiatry and mental health care in 2019/20. We, therefore, report the current days in the lives of psychiatrists and other mental health care professionals.
To obtain reports of days in the lives of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, we published the request on eight occasions from May 2019 to May 2020. We invited the prospective respondents/participants to send a relevant report of their psychiatric practice in a day with a maximum word count of 750 words.
We received 20 reports of variable lengths from 10 countries from six continents, including from psychiatrists, psychiatrists in training, clinical psychologists and from medical students about their psychiatric training. The reports revealed a wide and highly variable range of psychiatric and mental health practices, experiences and expectations. Last but not least, the reports we received were informative and provided much information to reflect on.
There is a common strong commitment to support patients with mental health problems, but the ways this is achieved are so diverse that generalisations about a typical common practice seem impossible. Future studies should focus more systematically on the procedures and practices applied in helping patients with mental health problems in different countries and communities. This knowledge might eventually help identify the procedures and services that are most efficient and helpful in various clinical contexts.