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

If sobriety isn’t an option, ‘harm reduction’ can work for homeless people with alcoholism, study finds
The Seattle Times | March 13, 2019
Sobriety-based treatment programs have been an ineffective approach for the vast majority of people struggling with alcoholism. Susan Collins, PhD, and colleagues conducted the first randomized controlled trial of alcohol treatment for alcohol use disorder that does not ask people to get sober, with positive results.

Car Crashes, Psychosis, suicide: Is the Drive to Legalize Marijuana Ignoring Major Risks?
USA Today | March 6, 2019
In less than 25 years, marijuana has gone from illegal everywhere in the United States to legal for at least some uses in all but four states. Andrew Saxon, MD, comments on legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use.

UW fraternities ban hard alcohol ahead of nationwide ban
KIRO 7 | March 5, 2019
A new policy from the North American Interfraternity Conference bans alcohol above 15 percent at chapter events and on chapter property. Jason Kilmer, PhD, says the impact of this new ban needs to be evaluated to see if it actually acheives the intended results.

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Department Facts

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