The latest

Looking for congressional testimony, government and agency documents, and the latest policy news on mental health issues? Check out the Policy Information Exchange (PIE), a free, searchable online database with more than 4,600 full-text policy documents on topics ranging from substance abuse to disability policy.

Offered by the Missouri Institute of Mental Health and updated daily, PIE (www.mimh.edu) provides a one-stop place to access historical and current policy documents from all over the world, says the institute's director, Danny Wedding, PhD, who oversees the site.

"If someone is writing a term paper or dissertation that is policy relevant, PIE makes it very easy to explore a large amount of data that [students] most likely would not have access to otherwise," says Wedding. He notes that most libraries do not keep records of congressional testimony, for example.

PIE was originally a subscription-only service, developed and launched 15 years ago by the Mental Health Policy Resource Center in Washington, D.C. When the center's funding ran out in 1997, the Missouri Institute of Mental Health took over PIE and made it free via the Internet for students, professionals and the general public. The Institute considers its work with PIE as community service, Wedding says, and allocates $50,000 each year to maintaining and improving the site.

-M. DITTMANN