Institute of Mental Health

UBC Institute of Mental Health

The UBC Institute of Mental Health (UBC IMH) was established in 2006 with a mandate to provide leadership in creating, applying and disseminating knowledge to improve diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses at all ages. Affiliated with the UBC Department of Psychiatry, the UBC IMH is focused on supporting innovations in research and education, engaging faculty, and building partnerships with local, national and global communities in order to transform mental health care and the lives of people with mental illnesses and addictions.

Objectives and Partnerships

The IMH endowment was established to support leading edge research in child and adolescent psychiatry, psychotherapy, and geriatric psychiatry. As more resources become available, the breadth of activities has grown. As an integral part of UBC’s Department of Psychiatry, the IMH is comprised of over 90 basic and clinical researchers in the UBC Faculties of Medicine, Science, Nursing, Education, Law and Arts. Their  activities include:

  • Building on recent advances in the fields of neuroscience, genetics, pathology, brain imaging, psychology and epidemiology
  • Translating these advances into clinically effective preventive and treatment strategies including early intervention, psychotherapy, genetic counseling and medications
  • Ensuring, through training and education, their application in everyday clinical practice throughout British Columbia

Through leadership in creating capacity, advancing knowledge, and translating and disseminating knowledge in order to improve the mental health of individuals and those affected with mental health conditions across the life spectrum, the UBC IMH serves as a model for health education, mental health research and promotion of evidence based practice in BC, Canada and rest of the world, benefiting people today and into the future.

As well, with the establishment of the IMH Marshall Scholars and Fellows Program, the IMH is investing in the research training of promising young scholars who will contribute to advancing understanding and treatment of psychiatric disorders.

The UBC IMH is a key partner with the UBC Department of Psychiatry, Djavad Mowafaghian Center for Brain Health, BC Mental Health and Addictions Research Institute, School of Population and Public Health, and the BC Ministry of Health, and aims to collaborate actively with other centers and Institutes within UBC and across the Universities in Canada and internationally.


The UBC IMH is headed by a Director and supported by the IMH Advisory Board, the IMH Executive Board, and the IMH Scientific Advisory Committee.

IMH Director

Dr. Lakshmi N. Yatham MBBS, DPM, FRCPC, MBA (Exec)

Department Head and Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, UBC
Regional Head of Psychiatry and Regional Program Medical Director, Vancouver Coastal Health & Providence Healthcare

Lakshmi Yatham

In his role as Director, UBC Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Yatham will provide leadership in teaching and research, and in promoting and improving patient care and clinical service delivery, working in partnership with affiliated Health Authorities across B.C.

Dr. Yatham, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, is also the Regional Head of Psychiatry and Regional Program Medical Director for Mental Health and Addictions at Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care. He has held leadership positions for national and international professional organizations including President of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders, and is currently the President for the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) and the Editor in Chief of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Dr. Yatham’s major areas of research interest include neurobiology and treatment of bipolar disorder and major depression.

Strategic Plan

Membership to the IMH

UBC IMH Membership

The IMH’s interdisciplinary membership includes basic and clinical researchers from all UBC faculties, whose activities aim to build on recent advances in the fields relevant to mental health and neuroscience, to translate these advances into clinically effective preventive and treatment strategies, and to train and educate young researchers and clinicians.

If you are interested in joining the UBC IMH as a full member, please review the eligibility guidelines and submit your application per instructions.

Public Education

Frames of Mind: A Monthly Mental Health Film Series

A current focus of the Department’s Public Education program is a mental health film series called “Frames of Mind“. Its goal is to promote community education of issues pertaining to mental health and illness. This ongoing series consists of a once-a-month evening screening of a feature length dramatic film or documentary followed by an informal presentation related to the mental health issue depicted in the film. Speakers and panelists range from psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to representatives from mental health community-based and nonprofit organizations, cinema experts and mental health consumers and their family members.  A moderated discussion concludes each evening, with full audience participation encouraged.

Other aspects of the series – now in its twenty-first year – include its rotating co-sponsorship by relevant community advocacy organizations and its ongoing evaluation by those who attend. To date, topics ranging from depression to schizophrenia to autism have now been successfully presented to over 20000 attendees. Please see the website.

Screenings are generally held at 7:00pm on the third Wednesday evening of each month at the Pacific Cinematheque Theatre, 1131 Howe Street.


UBC Institute of Mental Health
2255 Wesbrook Mall,
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V6T 2A1  (View on map)

Executive Coordinator to the IMH Director: (vacant)
Phone: 604-822-7310


Applications Open November – January 31