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About UW & Mental Health

  • Seattle is part of the globe! Solving local challenges informs global solutions, and global innovations in mental health care have the potential to meet local needs.
  • Nearly 300 faculty members in UW Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences are working to find new solutions to a continuing challenge: providing effective mental health care to everyone who needs it.
  • The University of Washington is a pioneer in collaborative care, a model for integrating mental health into rural and urban primary care settings.

  • Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho (WWAMI), and Oregon make up nearly 1/3 of the United States’ land area yet Montana, Wyoming, Alaska and Idaho rank among the lowest in concentration of psychiatrists. Washington State has one of the highest prevalence of adults with any mental illness and serious mental illnesses (2nd after Alaska) and one of per capita psychiatric bed availability.1  2
  • UW faculty are working to bring mental health services to the entire WWAMI region through innovative care delivery.

  • The Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 estimates that a substantial proportion of the world’s disease burden comes from mental, neurological and substance use disorders.3
  • The University of Washington has 36 (and growing!) global mental health projects in more than 25 countries. Our faculty contribute their expertise and innovation to help reduce disease burden and solve complex problems in mental health care.

The University of Washington is a global hub for innovation and research, and the experiences and perspectives of clinicians, caregivers, advocates, patients, students, and researchers help make us so.  They equip us with tools for inquiry, study, and training in diverse settings around the world. With these tools we create and exchange knowledge and ideas with local and global partners to achieve population mental health4






  1. Atkins, D. Washington trails the nation in mental health treatment. Crosscut (2016).
  2. Beck A. et al. Estimating the Distribution of the U.S. Psychiatric Subspecialist Workforce,. School of Public Health Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center, University of Michigan. December 2018.
  3. Kyu, H. H., Abate, D., Abate, K. H., Abay, S. M., Abbafati, C., Abbasi, N., … Murray, C. J. L. (2018). Global, regional, and national disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 359 diseases and injuries and healthy life expectancy (HALE) for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2017: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. The Lancet, 392(10159), 1859–1922.
  4. Collins, P. Y. & Saxena, S. Action on mental health needs global cooperation. Nature 532, 25–27 (2016).