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

Proposed new 'sexting' law could give teens a break
Kiro 7 | February 15, 2018
Sexting is currently a felony and convicted teens are forced to register as sex offenders if convicted. A new bill moving forward in the state legislature would reduce the charge of felony to a misdemeanor if a teen is caught sharing other's nude photos. Sarah Walker, PhD, testifed in favor of this bill stating that the current charges work against our long-term interest in making sure teens are held accountable.

This is Your Body on Love
Right as Rain | February 14, 2018​
Love has fueled creation, destruction and pretty much every human endeavor in between. What is it that makes love so powerful? Larry Zweifel, PhD, explains how the feeling of love affects the human body.

Prenatal Ultrasonography and the Incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorder
JAMA Pediatrics | February 12, 2018​
Sara Jane Webb, PhD, and Pierre Mourad, PhD, (neurological surgery) comment on a recently published paper, saying the study does not support ultrasound as a primary contributor to ASD and that more work is needed on understanding ultrasound safety, particularly in the first trimester in fetuses who may may be more vulnerable to poor neurodevelopment.

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Department Facts

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