Who We Are

Jurgen UnutzerWelcome to the UW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences!

With more than 1,300 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: a deep appreciation for the beauty and the diversity of our region and its people and a spirit of discovery and innovation. 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 individuals and populations.

Our scientists are engaged in cutting-edge research that helps us better understand the brain and behavior, paving the way for new approaches to help improve the lives of people in Seattle and around the world. Our research portfolio includes work in basic and clinical neurosciences, brain health, a wide range of mental health and addiction problems and programs that bring much needed behavioral health care to underserved populations in the United States and abroad. One of our best-known innovations is the Collaborative Care model in which mental health specialists work closely with primary care providers to care for the behavioral health needs of our patients. Our research has demonstrated that Collaborative Care leads to better patient and provider satisfaction, better health outcomes and lower health care costs by reducing inequities in access to effective behavioral health care.

Our clinical training programs and research fellowships attract exceptionally talented individuals from around the world. Our trainees come to UW for the diversity, scale, and innovative nature of our clinical and training 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 all health.

This is a critically important time in U.S. health care and we are passionate about working towards a future where mental health and well-being are fundamental rights that are in reach for all of us, regardless of gender, race, religion, political beliefs, and economic or social conditions. We invite you to explore our website, to visit us – either virtually or in-person — and to come and join us in our quest to improve mental health for all.

Jürgen Unützer, MD, MPH, MA
Chair, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences