In addition to sponsoring an in-person summits to discuss and plan next steps in developing diagnostic alternatives, the GSDA offered an internet-based platform for open discussion about alternatives to the current diagnostic paradigm.
Its organizers consisted of a multidisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners who are concerned with the future of mental health, but disappointed by the lack of free and open dialogue about the issues that matter most. GSDA was intended to function as a central hub for discourse on psychiatric diagnosis in all of its implications and forms: scientific, theoretical, clinical, practical, ethical, social, and political. Rather than starting from a specific theory about the “right” way to define and treat psychological suffering, GSDA was a virtual arena for the expression of diverse perspectives, a space to deliberate about those questions that seem most challenging and, at times, insurmountable. Our ultimate goal was to generate a transdisciplinary, international, egalitarian conversation about the possibility, feasibility, and potential implications of new means for conceptualizing mental distress.