Who We Are

Dr. Jurgen Unutzer.pngWelcome to the UW 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 satisfaction, better clinical outcomes and lower health care costs, helping us achieve the ‘Triple Aim’ of Health Care Reform.

Our clinical training programs and research fellowships attract exceptionally talented individuals and  applicants from around the world. Our trainees come to UW for the scale and diversity of our faculty and clinical programs, the richness of the UW academic community and our culture of scientific inquiry and discovery.  Along the way, they discover that Seattle is a wonderful place to work, to live, and to raise a family. Our graduates are working in communities throughout the WWAMI region and beyond, making sure that mental health is addressed as an important part of overall health.   

This is an exciting time in US health care. Earlier this year, key provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act became effective that may ultimately give 60 million Americans new or better mental health coverage. This is a wonderful opportunity and also a tremendous challenge for those of us in mental health care. At UW Psychiatry, we work to bring the best mental health care to those in need today while discovering the treatments that will help improve the lives of patients tomorrow. I invite you to explore our website to learn about our programs and people and to catch some of the excitement that motivates our work.

Jürgen Unützer, MD, MPH, MA
Professor and Chair