About Us

A Message from our Chair

Together, we are creating a new paradigm for modern psychiatry. In this new paradigm, we move beyond the treatment of disease to the imperative of fostering overall health, resilience, and wellbeing. We work to understand the brain, with its extraordinary capacities and complexity, and to gain knowledge of its nature, development, adaptations, and dysfunction. We invent and combine evidence-based therapeutics, and we collaborate with our patients and their families so that each day may be lived well and in better health. We are developing new strategies to prevent and lessen the burdens of illness experienced by individuals, communities, and populations.

This new approach to psychiatry differs in that it is richly informed by extraordinary scientific discoveries and, at the same time, by an appreciation of the long-understood positive role of the therapeutic relationship in human healing. In this new paradigm we embrace the responsibility to transform human health -- and to cure as well as to care for mental illness.

The approach of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of Stanford Medicine is driven by innovation – bringing novel approaches and technologies to tackle the hardest challenges in the laboratory, clinic, community, and nation. Our approach exists because of the acceleration of wonderful work by our scientists, scholars, educators, and learners in many academic disciplines.

And this approach is so important: mental disorders are the second-leading cause of disease burden throughout the world. Stigma, at this time, makes living with mental disorders so much harder and the opportunities for a healthier life so much fewer.

By rapidly translating great science and dismantling social barriers, our work thus redefines state-of-the -art standards of care for millions of people affected by mental disorders. This work is an expression of Precision Health and Wellness, the strategic vision of Stanford Medicine, and it is ambitious. We are transforming human health.

We have arrived at this moment because of the creativity, tenacity, and clarity of purpose of our academic community. We all have a role in advancing science, clinical innovation and service, educational excellence, community commitment and engagement, and professionalism and leadership. These missions, taken together, become a transformative methodology and have become the basis of this transformational new paradigm for psychiatry at Stanford.

Laura Roberts, MD, MA
Chairman, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Katharine Dexter McCormick and Stanley McCormick Memorial Professor

Academic Medicine

Department Structure

The fundamental work of the Department occurs in our Divisions, the Major Laboratories and Clinical Translational Neurosciences Incubator, and the Chair’s Special Initiatives.

The six Divisions are:

  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Child Development
  • General Psychiatry and Psychology
  • Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences
  • Medical Psychiatry
  • Public Mental Health and Population Sciences
  • Sleep Medicine 

video produced in February 2020

Our Missions

At a Glance

  • 606 Faculty Members 
  • 23 Endowed Professorships
  • 399 Staff
  • 40 Clinical Fellows
  • 122 Postdoctoral Scholars
  • 225 Competitively funded projects & agreements
  • 750+ Scholarly publications by department faculty in CY21