Welcome to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences

Message from the Chair, Karin Neufeld

Our Department is one of the most vibrant and creative academic departments in Canada, with a distinguished record for over 50 years of innovation, collegial scholarship, academic excellence, and world-renowned programs, which you will learn about in these pages. Our 4 core values – equity, innovation, partnerships and inclusivity - are encapsulated in our vision and in our EDI initiatives while never forgetting that at the heart of everything we do is improving the well-being of the person living with a mental health or addiction problem and their family. During my tenure as Acting Chair, we will continue to focus on our five strategic directions, and our emerging areas of academic excellence are broad, bringing together our programs and faculty to work collaboratively within a common framework.

We work closely with Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare who support a comprehensive and well integrated network of academically focused health services where much of our teaching takes places, and with other departments across McMaster.  Our work is also enriched by our partnerships with our local community reflecting our commitment to giving something back to Hamilton, and to other communities in Ontario, Canada and abroad.  But our greatest strength is our people – our faculty, staff, and learners - whose dedication, energy, creativity and collegiality create an atmosphere in which academic inquiry can flourish, partnerships and friendships thrive, and which brings out the best in each of us, making McMaster a place we’re all proud to call home.

Paul Links

Education and academic excellence is an overarching priority within the department. We are renowned for our expertise in mood and anxiety disorders, women’s health, child psychiatry, neuroscience, and in creating innovative models of mental health-care delivery, particularly those concerned with the interaction between psychiatry and family medicine.

Our postgraduate residency training program offers award-winning educational initiatives in psychotherapy training and interviewing skills development. We create socially-responsible, life-long learners capable of critical thought that can be applied to the clinical care of both individual patients and populations as a whole. Graduates go on to become leaders in academic and clinical settings as well as valuable consultants to other health care providers and systems.

For those interested in an academic career in research, the department offers a mentorship program. We also offer a clinical investigator training program which combines structured course work with resident-initiated research projects.

For those interested in research, there are opportunities to complete a master’s degree or a PhD with access to fellowships and post-doctoral positions in a variety of basic and clinical research areas. We support interdisciplinary research training through relationships with the departments of health research methods, evidence, and impact; family medicine; pediatrics; obstetrics and gynecology, and psychology as well as other schools and departments throughout the university.

We play an important role in reshaping and refining the delivery of mental health programs and services within the community. Strong ties to local hospitals, the community, and other academic departments make us part of a progressive and integrated continuum of care within Hamilton and the surrounding area. We provide psychiatric services through a network that includes health care facilities, a 24-hour psychiatric emergency service, an innovative primary care mental health program, and outreach services for children, adults, and the elderly. We are also associated with the Offord Centre for Child Studies, which provides a base for our strong child psychiatry research group, and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Brain-Body Institute, which helps us attract first-rate faculty for our basic science program. This strengthens our mood disorders program, child and youth mental health program, and neuroscience division.

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