Welcome to UW Psychiatry


Welcome to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences!

With nearly 1,000 faculty, staff, and trainees, our department serves a five-state region known as WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho). We enjoy many of the same qualities as our Pacific Northwest home: an entrepreneurial spirit, a sense of discovery and a deep appreciation for the beauty and the diversity of our region and its people. We are an integral part of the University of Washington, a leading global university, and of the UW School of Medicine, a top ranked school in research and in primary care.  We are dedicated to improving the health of the public through research and discovery, training the next generation of health professionals and researchers, and improving the lives of people, one patient at a time.

Our scientists are engaged in cutting-edge research that helps us better understand the brain and behavior, paving the way for new treatments that will ultimately improve the lives of people in Seattle and around the world. Our research portfolio includes work in neurodevelopment and healthy brain aging, autism, a wide range of mental health and addiction problems and programs that bring much needed mental health care to underserved populations in the United States and abroad.  One of our best known innovations is the Collaborative Care model in which psychiatrists and other mental health specialists work closely with primary care providers to care for the emotional and physical needs of our patients. Our research has demonstrated that Collaborative Care leads to better patient and provider satisfaction, better clinical outcomes and lower health care costs, helping us achieve the ‘Quadruple Aim’ of Health Care Reform.


In the News

Suicide rate up in all regions of Washington — but why?
The Seattle Times | June 14, 2018
Christopher DeCou, PhD, senior fellow at Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center and a collaborator with the Kate Comtois Lab, says no one is exactly sure why the suicide rates continue to go up, despite the tremendous effort to try to understand the reasons people hurt or kill themselves.

Helping a friend or loved one who might be suicidal
Komo News | June 13, 2018
Anna Ratzliff, MD, PhD, says even if someone isn't talking about wanting to die, there are typically warning signs, such as a change in behavior, that may indicate that person is struggling with suicidal thoughts.

Bourdain, Spade suicides highlight resources available, new state law to expand suicide prevention
KIRO 7 | June 8, 2018
It's a common misconception that if you talk to someone about suicide, it will make him or her more likely to harm themselves or die by suicide, says Anna Ratzliff, MD, PhD. Dr. Ratzliff is one of the authors of All Patients Safe, an online suicide prevention training program for medical providers.

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Department Facts

Please see our Department Fact Sheet for an overview of our department.