Message from the Department Head

Welcome to the UBC Department of Psychiatry, the second largest academic psychiatry department across Canadian universities and a centre for world-class education, pioneering research and transformative clinical care in mental health.

As part of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia and affiliated with the Institute of Mental Health, UBC Psychiatry is home to six academic divisions in the areas of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Adult Psychiatry & Mental Health Services, Substance Use & Concurrent Disorders, and Neuroscience & Translational Psychiatry. We are among the Faculty of Medicine’s most geographically distributed departments, with undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in psychiatry taking place at sites in Vancouver-Fraser, Vancouver Island, Northern BC, and the Southern Interior.

Our Department is deeply committed to research excellence in all areas relevant to mental health, with a diverse profile that includes internationally-renowned clinical research programs in mood and anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and psychosis, and substance use and concurrent disorders. In addition to clinical research the department has a robust basic and translational neurosciences network based primarily at the Djavad Mowafaghian  Centre for Brain Health that uses cutting-edge methods and technology to unravel neurobiological mechanisms underlying normal brain function and neuropsychiatric disease.

UBC Psychiatry is comprised of over 1,000 members, including neuroscientists, clinicians and frontline mental healthcare professionals, residents, fellows, students, research and administrative staff, and research trainees. Collectively, our people are dedicated to supporting the Department’s overarching mission to advance learning and knowledge creation which will translate into care that is equitable, accessible and sustainable for people suffering from mental illnesses and substance use disorders in BC and beyond. With this in mind, the Department continues to pursue and achieve concrete and actionable goals set out under the pillars of Research, Education, People and Partnerships, as outlined in our Strategic Plan 2020-2025,which broadly encompasses the vision and strategic priorities of our multifaceted department.

We have undergone considerable growth and change over the last few years, and more recently, we have been striving for continued expansion of our teaching and research capacity in all regions of the province, which will be essential in graduating a sufficient number of psychiatrists and building the expertise required to address unmet societal needs, particularly those of underserved populations who are disproportionately impacted by mental illness and addictions. By leveraging our engagement with the Health Authorities, the Ministries of Health and Mental Health & Addictions, the BC College of Physicians & Surgeons, and other strategic partners, and fostering national and global collaborations that will amplify our impact, we are building a strong foundation of excellence and leadership in mental health, and delivering on our promise to bring positive, meaningful change to the lives of patients, their families, and their communities. It has been my honour and privilege as Head to steer the Department on a course that will prepare us for new opportunities and novel challenges facing us in the 21st century.