Our Pathbreaking Work and Tradition of Service

D. Ziedonis, MD, MPHWith our clinical work, education programs and world-class research on the nature and causes of mental illness – from addiction and schizophrenia to autism spectrum disorders – the UMass Department of Psychiatry is helping individuals and families transform their lives. We are proud of our accomplishments and pleased to be a part of the nationally ranked University of Massachusetts Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care system.

  • The department's "bench to bedside" and "bedside to community" research focuses on treatment and prevention.
  • Our training programs and approach to mentoring promote excellence in teaching for future mental health care practitioners.
  • Our products and services reach across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and, now, are found in numerous sites internationally.
  • Our more than 300 faculty and 2,000 staff members work in many settings within the Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care, the public sector, and the community at large.

Douglas M. Ziedonis MD, MPH
Chairman, Dept. of Psychiatry

Latest Psychiatry Department News

UMMS perinatal expert explains why all mothers should be screened for depression during, after pregnancy
UMass Medical School perinatal depression expert Nancy Byatt, DO, MBA, fully supports the new U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation that pregnant and postpartum women be screened for depression. Read the story in UMassMedNow.
   
Federal grant bolsters Barnstable Drug Court program
David A. Smelson
, PsyD, professor of psychiatry, said a new $1 million grant will provide substance use and mental health services, including dual mental health and addiction therapy, peer support groups, trauma care and vocational and educational support, to about 30 participants who are Cape Cod residents each year. The program is a partnership between the Barnstable Drug Court with UMass Medical School and AdCare Criminal Justice Services. Read the story in Cape Cod Times.
   
Matters Of The Mind: Support Program Helps Siblings Of Mental Health Patients
A partnership between several New England groups aims to make the ripple effects of mental illness a little easier to handle within families. Read/watch the WBZ-TV news segment about the Sibling Support Program: A Family-Centered Mental Health Initiative developed by Emily Rubin, MA of UMass Medical School's Department of Psychiatry and the E.K. Shriver Center. She also discusses the impact of stress on siblings in the December 2015 MCPAP newsletter.
   
Benjamin to WBZ News Radio: Brain training does not deter dementia
UMass Medical School neuropsychiatry expert Sheldon Benjamin, MD, was straightforward in an interview with WBZ News Radio about whether playing brain games or solving crossword puzzles can stave off cognitive decline from memory loss to Alzheimer's disease. “Staying cognitively active does not protect you against dementia,” Dr. Benjamin said. Read the story in UMassMedNow.

More in the news...

Spotlight

Can a genetic test help predict which antidepressant will be most effective?

Clinical trial seeks to reduce trial-and-error prescribing for patients with depression. 

Rothschild

By Sandra Gray
UMass Medical School Communications
Depression is the most commonly diagnosed mental illness, and antidepressants are the most frequently prescribed treatments for it. But with dozens of medications to choose from, and with individuals responding better to some drugs than to others—possibly due to genetic differences that affect how the medications are metabolized and how they act on the brain—patients must often try several medications before finding one that is most effective.

"It's a lot of trial and error even for those of us who are experts, and most antidepressants are prescribed by primary care physicians, not psychiatrists," said UMass Medical School psychiatrist Anthony Rothschild, MD, the Irving S. and Betty Brudnick Chair in Psychiatry, professor of psychiatry and director of the Center for Psychopharmacologic Research and Treatment at UMMS.
Read more... 

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