Special Initiatives in the Department

The Belonging Project at Stanford

A sense of belonging is deeply important to emotional health and personal wellbeing.  Individuals develop a sense of belonging when they feel that they are part of a larger community that they believe in - a community that welcomes them, a community that respects and represents their values, and a community that helps them to fulfill their aspirations.  For more information, check out The Belonging Project at Stanford page.

Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing

The Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing recognizes that we are in the midst of a national public health crisis among US youth and is committed to spearheading a new national vision for adolescent and young adult wellness and mental health support. By creating an innovative health system, and a new culture of health for the adolescent and young adult population, Stanford hopes to create a model for the country in how to better support our young people to navigate the transition to adulthood and realize their full potential as adults.


The headspace model creates stand-alone, integrated care sites for young people ages 12-25 to access early mental health supports, along with school support and web-based connectivity.  Stanford Psychiatry's Center for Youth Mental Health & Wellbeing is leading the effort to bring the headspace model via allcove to the US by building a community-academic partnership that has the potential to develop a nationally replicable model for supporting adolescent and young adult mental health with an early intervention infrastructure that does not currently exist.


YogaX is a special initiative of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences integrating science and spirituality to inspire health and wellbeing. Its mission is the integration of therapeutic yoga in health and allied healthcare settings. YogaX’s three arms, yoga teacher certification, continuing education with a therapeutic yoga focus, and therapeutic yoga services are rooted in holistic spiritual traditions as well as modern neuroscience, biomedical, and psychological research.  For more information, please visit the YogaX website.

Brainstorm: The Stanford Lab for Mental Health Innovation

Brainstorm unites the worlds of medicine, business, technology, and design to help build innovative products that optimize health and human potential. We believe that to solve the mental health crisis in an ethical and socially responsible manner in our lifetime, we need innovative solutions that are based on scientific evidence, interdisciplinary, integrated inside and outside the traditional healthcare system, and scalable to millions at a time.

Stanford Neurodiversity Project

Neurodiversity is a concept that regards individuals with differences in brain function and behavioral traits as part of normal variation in the human population. The movement of Neurodiversity is about uncovering the strengths of neurodiverse individuals and utilizing their talents to increase innovation and productivity of the society as a whole.  Please visit the Stanford Neurodiversity Project website to learn more.

Lyme Disease Working Group

Our Lyme Disease Working Group is interested in developing more accurate diagnostic tests, improving medical understanding of the course of illness, evaluating the effectiveness of innovative therapies, expanding clinical services, and building greater knowledge and awareness of how to prevent illness. Participating colleagues represent biochemistry, biomedical informatics, biomaterials and advanced drug delivery, cardiovascular medicine, community ecology of wildlife disease, genetics, infectious disease, pediatrics, pain management, microbiology/immunology, neurology, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and rheumatology/immunology. Basing this effort at Stanford University will build upon the advantages of working within an institution that strongly supports academic freedom while also encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration.


The Clinical Neuroscience Immersion Experience (CNI-X) at Stanford University is an intensive week long summer program following the sophomore, junior, or senior years in high school.  Students are introduced to the amazing breadth of research found in the Stanford Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

During the summer of 2017, we launched a similar program for international students, called Clinical Neuroscience & Research Experience (CNR-X) International

Precision Psychiatry

Mental wellbeing is fundamental to human health.  The biomedical revolution, led by Stanford Medicine, will change the trajectory and impact of the biomedical sciences through precision health, for individuals and for populations.  Precision psychiatry is part of this revolution.  For more information, please visit our Precision Psychiatry initiative.


Stanford WellConnect is a confidential mental health referral and consultation for residents and fellows.   There are times when stressors can get in the way of balancing the demands of professional and personal life, and without help, problems can intensify, having an effect on emotional and physical well-being and professional success.  Although emotional distress often manifests in obvious ways, the symptoms of many psychological problems can be subtle.  We are here to help.

Humanities and Medicine: Growing the Heart and Mind of Medicine

Medicine is the most human of the sciences. The physician-patient relationship is at the heart of medical practice. Evidence suggests that clinical outcomes, satisfaction (for both patients and physicians), and costs are negatively affected when the human side of medicine is neglected, marginalized, or otherwise disregarded. In the busy world of medicine, it is easy to avoid self-reflection in the service of expediency, but the potential costs are high.  The Humanities and Medicine Initiative focuses on the academic and clinical interface between medicine and humanities at Stanford.

Reimagining Mental Healthcare

Reimagining Mental Healthcare” challenges us to put aside what we know about mental healthcare and to start from scratch – to reimagine mental healthcare

This special initiative of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences seeks to dream into the future of mental healthcare.  Participants bring to bear on this task theories, tools, and expertise from fields outside mental healthcare – in particular, from information technology, design thinking, and implementation science.

Global Mental Health Initiative

The objective of the Global Mental Health Initiative is to create and sustain a platform to address global mental health as a substantive departmental priority. This platform will integrate clinical, research, service, leadership, and educational efforts focused on global mental health. For more info on this special initiative of the Chair, please visit: http://med.stanford.edu/psychiatry/special-initiatives/globalmh.html

Virtual Reality & Immersive Technology Program

The Virtual Reality & Immersive Technology (VRIT) Program is the first clinically focused academic endeavor dedicated to studying immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in mental and behavioral health settings in a broad range of disciplines.  We are a group of interdisciplinary academics passionate and called upon to evaluate, innovate, and disseminate advances in the field of virtual and augmented reality technology in real world clinical settings.

Forensic Psychiatry

Our mission in Forensic Psychiatry is to provide you with the highest level of ethical, comprehensive, unbiased, and evidence-based forensic assessments possible.  

Stanford Mental Health Technology & Innovation Hub

The Stanford Mental Health Technology & Innovation Hub's mission is to develop, evaluate, and disseminate mental health technology and innovation to foster emotional wellbeing and ease the burden of mental illness worldwide. We are a collaborative group of clinicians, researchers, educators, trainees, faculty, and staff within the Stanford Department of Psychiatry and the VA Palo Alto Health Care System with an interest in the intersection of mental health, innovation, and technology. 

Contact Us

Kyle McKinley, Program Manager
kylemck@stanford.edu  |   (650)721-1883