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 and provider satisfaction, better clinical outcomes and lower health care costs, helping us achieve the ‘Quadruple Aim’ of Health Care Reform.

Our clinical training programs and research fellowships attract exceptionally talented individuals from around the world. Our trainees come to UW for the diversity and scale of our programs and faculty, 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. Wherever we turn, we are asked to help address the dire need for better care for those living with mental health and substance use problems. Our state continues on its pursuit of fully integrating behavioral health and the rest of health care by the year 2020, and we have no lack of opportunity to do our part in helping achieve this goal.

Jürgen Unützer, MD, MPH, MA
Professor and Chair