Center for Behavioral Health and Learning

Providing hope and healing for behavioral and mental health conditions.

Center for Behavioral Health and Learning

Providing hope and healing for behavioral and mental health conditions.


Prioritizing behavioral health

For many years, Washington state has ranked poorly in terms of providing psychiatric beds per capita in the United States. Thanks to a $244 million investment from Governor Inslee and the state legislature, UW Medicine is building a first-of-its-kind inpatient care and teaching facility.

When the Center for Behavioral Health and Learning opens in Spring 2024, it will provide psychiatric care to the people who need it most.

UW Medicine is passionate about medical training and workforce development. That’s why “Learning” is part of our name. Our new space is specifically designed to provide high-quality behavioral health education and training alongside clinical care. Beginning in 2025, we’ll host a variety of new and existing behavioral health education programs and offer them all under one roof — making the Center a destination for people pursuing careers in behavioral health.

Behavioral health services

Behavioral health services

With the right care, mental or behavioral health disorders can be improved or overcome. The Center for Behavioral Health and Learning will provide the tools and treatments needed.

Long-term, inpatient behavioral healthcare

Within the Center for Behavioral Health and Learning, there will be 75 rooms reserved for patients who need involuntary care for at least three months. This care is specifically for people who are legally required to receive inpatient psychiatric care for 90-180 days (known as a civil commitment).

People admitted to our center under a civil commitment will receive expert care in a supportive, welcoming environment. Our team has experience treating people whose illness limits their ability to take care of themselves, as well as patients who are at risk of harming themselves or others.

Our building was designed with healing in mind. It offers:

  • Comfortable private rooms 
  • An on-site dining area where patients and their visitors can share a meal together 
  • An abundance of natural light 
  • Secure outdoor areas where patients can relax and enjoy the fresh air 

The latest neuromodulation treatments

The first floor of our beautiful new building will be home to the Garvey Institute Center for Neuromodulation. This clinic will offer outpatient and inpatient neuromodulation services, including electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). These nonsurgical treatments use electrical currents or magnetic waves to change brain cell activity.

Studies show neuromodulation treatments, such as ECT and TMS, are safe and effective treatment options. They can be used in combination with other treatments, such as medication and therapy.

Neuromodulation can improve recovery times for a variety of conditions, including:

  • Bipolar disorder 
  • Catatonia 
  • Clinical depression (also known as major depressive disorder) 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) 
  • Schizophrenia 
  • And other conditions 

Learn more

Geriatric psychiatry services

Patients with behavioral health conditions who are 60 or older may have complicated medical needs. That's why our team includes psychiatrists and other experts specializing in behavioral healthcare for older adults.

If you or an aging family member need inpatient care, the Center for Behavioral Health and Learning can help: 

  • Our providers have a deep understanding of how to care for older adults living with mental or behavioral health conditions 
  • We have 25 rooms exclusively for patients who need geriatric psychiatry care 
  • Patients have frequent opportunities for family involvement and social interaction 

Medical, surgical and behavioral health experts under one roof

People with mental or behavioral health disorders need care for their “whole person” including any medical conditions or physical illnesses. Our center was intentionally designed with in-house medical and surgical spaces. This allows UW Medicine specialists and behavioral health experts to team up and provide more holistic care.

This collaboration leads to a safer, more positive patient experience:

  • Patients can recover from surgery or another medical treatment — and receive psychiatric support — under the same roof 
  • Patients have access to a team of providers who understand how mental illness can influence the treatment and recovery process 
  • Patients can receive complete care for their mind, body and spirit

Latest news

The Center for Behavioral Health and Learning is one of the most comprehensive programs of its kind in the United States. Learn how we’re changing lives, one person at a time.


In partnership with the University of Washington and the incredible support of Governor Inslee and the state legislature, UW Medicine leadership was able to create the Center for Behavioral Health and Learning. These leaders — who had the vision it takes to create a world-class program, and will provide operational oversight — include:  

  • Cindy Hecker, executive sponsor and chief executive officer at UW Medical Center 
  • Charity Holmes, assistant administrator of Behavioral Health Services at UW Medical Center 
  • Ian Goodhew, senior director of external affairs, UW Medicine 
  • Rashi Gupta, director of state relations, UW Medicine 
  • Jürgen Unützer, MD, chair of the UW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 
  • Ryan Kimmel, MD, chief of psychiatry for UW Medical Center

We’re also supported by many partners who have overseen construction and facility development.