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

Digital Psychotherapy Has Yet To Overcome Trust Barrier
UW Medicine Newsroom | February 13, 2019
Digital psychotherapy could help improve access to mental health treatment, especially in underserved communities, but consumers still have significant concerns. Patricia Areán, PhD, weighs in.

Sleep Patterns Can Change With Aging Does That Mean Health Troubles Ahead?
Washington Post | February 10, 2019
Aging can have impactful effects on sleep patterns. According to a national poll, 46 percent of adults 6​5 and​ older have trouble falling asleep on a regular basis. Michael V. Vitiello, PhD, comments on sleep in aging. 

Technology is taking on addition - now there are smartphone apps to help prevent relapses
KNKX | February 7, 2019
Every week, tens of thousands of Americans complete intensive drug and alcohol rehab programs. The next months after treatment, however, are fraught with risk of relapse. Dennis Donovan, PhD, professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the UW, is quoted.

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Department Facts

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