Study: Smoking may contribute to suicide risk

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine found that suicide rates declined in states that implemented higher taxes on cigarettes and stricter policies to limit smoking in public places. They also noted an increase in suicide rates in states that had lower cigarette taxes and more lax policies toward smoking in public. The map displays the range of state cigarette taxes from the lowest (lightest blue) to the highest (darkest blue).

Read More

Partnership envisions novel treatments for mental illness

PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS AFFECT more than 80 million Americans, disrupting their ability to cope with daily living. Left untreated, the individual and societal costs are staggering — including disability, unemployment, substance abuse, physical illnesses, family discord, homelessness, incarceration and suicide.

Read More

Drug users switch to heroin because it’s cheap, easy to get

A nationwide survey indicates that heroin users are attracted to the drug not only for the “high” but because it is less expensive and easier to get than prescription painkillers. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis published the survey’s results May 28 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Read More

Scripted scenarios hone the clinical skills of tomorrow’s physicians

Committed to helping medical students become better doctors, there are nearly 70 local professional actors working as standardized patients (SPs) at Washington University School of Medicine. Through this immersive program, students undergo a stunning transformation. By the program’s conclusion, the students will have practiced delivering a terminal diagnosis.

Read More

Dr. Robert Cloninger is the recipient of the 2014 Oskar Pfister Award

On behalf of the Board of the American Psychiatric Foundation, Dr. Robert Cloninger is the recipient of the 2014 Oskar Pfister Award. This award honors an outstanding contributor in the field of psychiatry and religion. He will deliver the Pfister lecture during the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting in New York, New York on May 5, 2014.

Read More


Welcome to the Washington University, Department of Psychiatry’s website. The department has been at the forefront of psychiatric care for decades. Members of our faculty were among the first to champion the medical model of psychiatry and view psychiatric dysfunction as an interaction between genes and environment. The department and its faculty continue to be in the vanguard of both the study and treatment of mental illness. In order to prepare for the future, the department also devotes a significant amount of time and effort to the training of the next generation of clinicians and researchers. We provide training at the medical student, residency, fellowship, and pre-, and post-doctoral levels. We invite you to visit our site to learn more about our history, the faculty, and what we do to increase our understanding of nervous system function and improve the treatment of mental disorders.