Mental Health Care

Treatment that supports the whole person — because it’s never “just in your head”

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Complete mind-body health begins with mental well-being.

Collaborative Care

At UW Medicine, we integrate mental and physical health services so you can receive whole-person care all in one place.

A Safety Net

We're here for you. Access to both acute care and long-term treatment can provide ongoing support or urgent relief in times of crisis.

More Than Therapy

Our team of psychiatrists, psychologists and behavioral health experts use a variety of effective treatments to help you live a full and productive life.

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Featured Provider

Meet the provider: Denise Chang, M.D.

Dr. Chang is a board-certified psychiatrist who works closely with primary care providers and social workers to provide mental health care to primary care patients by using the collaborative care model. View full bio.

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Some of our common services:

Also known as attention deficit disorder, ADHD is a behavioral disorder usually diagnosed during childhood. There are three types of ADHD:

  1. Impulsive and hyperactive
  2. Inattentive and distractible
  3. Impulsive, hyperactive, inattentive and distractible

UW Medicine psychiatrists and psychologists treat children with ADHD through our partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital.

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ASD affects a child’s nervous system, growth and development. It usually shows up during the first three years of life. ASD is a "spectrum" disorder because of its range of symptoms. Researchers don’t know what causes ASD, but they do know it’s not caused by how parents raise their child. UW Medicine psychiatrists and psychologists treat ASD at the Adult Autism Clinic and through our partnership with Seattle Children’s Autism Center.

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This treatment involves passing a brief electrical current through the brain to ease symptoms stemming from severe mental health disorders. ECT is most often used to treat severe, treatment-resistant depression and other disorders. It is also used to provide a rapid response in a life-threatening situation, such as suicide risk or catatonia.

This treatment uses a magnet to target and activate specific sites in the brain to ease symptoms. rTMS is used to treat depression that does not respond to at least one antidepressant medication.

UW Medicine faculty are part of the Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine team at Seattle Children's Hospital that works to diagnose, treat and prevent problems with emotions and behavior for children and teens up to age 18.

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Chronic pain can be a complex problem with widespread physical and psychological effects. Effective treatment must address these effects as well as the causes of chronic pain. Therefore, we provide whole-person, referral-based care to patients at our Center for Pain Relief. Our integrated mental health experts use proven therapies to help treat the overwhelming psychological aspects of chronic pain, including potent medicines, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction and other relaxation therapies.

Providers: Refer a patient

UW Medicine provides psychiatric consultation in partnership with community hospitals, clinics and health centers. Services include curbside consultation for providers regarding psychiatric manifestations of medical conditions, mental health diagnosis and treatment suggestions, and video telepsychiatric patient consultation. We also offer outpatient case review, outpatient direct care and integrated/collaborative care plus telepyschiatry.

UW Medicine Telehealth

Life can get demanding and stressful, causing a person to feel powerless, isolated and overwhelmed, which puts them at increased risk of depression. Our experienced mental health experts are here to help. They offer crisis intervention therapies that relieve distress through problem-solving, coping and relaxation techniques.

If you fear you have a serious, life-threatening crisis or think you could be a danger to yourself or others, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.


Establishing a correct diagnosis and determining each patient’s strengths and vulnerabilities is integral to the treatment of mental illness. Our mental health experts offer diagnostic consultations designed to gain an understanding of your problem and provide a comprehensive opinion. Our experts can also provide second opinions to providers on diagnosis or treatment options.

Mental health care for older adults calls for a special understanding of how mental and cognitive abilities are affected by normal aging and medical illness. Our geriatric psychiatry specialists are experts in providing mental health care to healthy and medically ill older adults who have age-related mental and emotional needs.

HIV directly infects the brain, which can cause mental disorders. People infected with HIV face many physical, mental and emotional challenges. Having a mental disorder makes dealing with these challenges more difficult. Our HIV psychiatry specialists at Harborview's Madison Clinic are trained to help people living with HIV cope with their challenges and any mental disorder.

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UW Medicine and the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences currently staff inpatient psychiatry beds at Harborview Medical Center, UW Medical Center - Northwest, Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Puget Sound VA Medical Center. Our mental health care experts treat those with severe mental illness or cognitive decline. We also offer care to patients who develop a psychiatric disorder while in the hospital for a complex medical condition.

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Psychiatric Emergency Services at Harborview

325 9th Ave., 1st Floor, Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206.520.5000


  • Psychiatric emergencies
  • Trauma psychiatry

Mental health and physical health are deeply intertwined. That’s why UW Medicine primary care clinics throughout the Puget Sound region offer integrated behavioral health services that treat both mental health and physical health in the same place.

Medications can be an important part of a patient’s treatment for a mental disorder. They work differently for each patient, with some medications working better than others. Our psychiatrists will work with you to find the most appropriate medication for your condition and prescribe it according to your needs and goals.

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Having cancer and going through treatment can be difficult for patients and families. Our mental health care experts offer proven therapies that help cancer patients and their families cope with their emotional and psychological responses to the disease and its treatment.

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Inform yourself to make the best choices for your health and care with UW Medicine patient education resources.

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Support is an important part of your care beyond treatment. Support groups and community resources can help you and your loved ones through your medical journey and recovery.

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The experts at the Perinatal Psychiatry Clinic at our Roosevelt location offer referral-based consultation, treatment recommendations and coordination of care with primary care providers for women with a mental health condition who are pregnant, considering becoming pregnant, have recently given birth, have pregnancy-related complications or have experienced a pregnancy loss.

Depression during or after pregnancy is more serious than having the “baby blues.” New moms can feel extreme sadness, anxiety and exhaustion, which makes it difficult to care for herself and her baby. Our psychiatry team also conducts evaluations and administers care for women with a wide range of mental health issues who are patients in the Maternal and Infant Care Clinic.


People with a personality disorder display a pattern of inflexible thought and rigid behavior. This causes them to have trouble dealing with people and with everyday stresses and problems. Our mental health experts are skilled at determining the best combination of therapies that can change inappropriate behavior and thought patterns.

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For people who are in emotional or behavioral crisis, we offer walk-in psychiatric emergency services 24/7. Our services include immediate psychiatric evaluations, crisis interventions and referrals to inpatient treatment facilities and for mental health and substance abuse treatment.

If you fear you have a serious, life-threatening crisis or think you could be a danger to yourself or others, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.


Also known as talk therapy, psychotherapy is a way to help people identify and change their thought and behavior patterns so they can cope with their mental and behavioral health conditions. There are several different types of psychotherapy, and some may work better with certain experiences and conditions.

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CBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps change negative thoughts into more positive ones. By changing how we think and feel about certain things, we also change how we respond and behave to them. CBT includes stress management strategies, relaxation training, coping skills practice and other forms of treatment.

PST improves one’s ability to cope with a wide range of difficulties and stressful problems that occur in everyday living. This form of therapy teaches how to effectively manage the negative effects of stressful events. Let one of our PST experts show you how to redirect your distress.

BA teaches that behavior can positively influence moods and emotions. So, when a person starts to get depressed, he or she engages in behaviors or activities specific to their wants and needs, instead of becoming passive and inactive. Our BA experts can help you develop an action plan to improve your well-being.

People with schizophrenia sometimes imagine they hear voices, think others are trying to harm them and don’t make sense when talking. It is a serious brain disease, but symptoms can be managed with medicine and therapy. Our mental health experts offer treatments and services that help affected people live productive lives.

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The biggest myth about substance abuse is that it is a matter of choice. Another myth is that substance abuse treatment doesn’t work. The truth is that addiction is a long-lasting disease that can be treated and managed successfully.

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People often consider suicide when they feel hopeless, unable to find another solution to their problems. Suicide is related to depression, substance abuse or distress from a stressful experience. Therapy and medicines can help most people at risk for suicide. Treating mental illnesses and substance abuse can also reduce the risk.

If you or someone you know needs support now, call or text 988 or chat For immediate emergency help, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Lifeline Crisis Chat

These disorders affect a person’s ability to reason, make decisions, remember information and communicate. Our mental health experts understand the impact cognitive and memory disorders can have on patients and their families. From the initial consultation through treatment and follow-up, patients will receive individualized care and exceptional service.

There are several types of anxiety disorders that can be treated by a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional. Everyone worries about things occasionally, but expecting the worst all the time can get in the way of living a normal life. If you tend to worry constantly for no reason and can’t control the worrying, you may have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Don’t fret -- GAD is treatable.

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Also known as manic depression, people with bipolar disorder experience extreme mood changes. Sometimes they feel joyful, energetic and are more active than usual. Sometimes they feel sad, depressed and are much less active. In most cases, consistent, long-term treatment can stabilize these mood swings.

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A serious mood disorder, depression is more than just feeling sad for a few days. The sadness persists and interferes with everyday life. Depression cannot be willed or wished away. It’s a chemical imbalance in the brain that needs to be treated. Without treatment, depression can become more serious.

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A person with repeated, unexpected bouts of overwhelming fear that has no specific cause may have panic disorder. A panic attack can happen anytime, anywhere and without warning. It sometimes starts when a person is under a lot of stress.

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This common anxiety disorder causes frequent disturbing, irrational thoughts, fears or worries called obsessions. Reasoning doesn’t help a person with OCD. Instead they use rituals or compulsions to help them try to manage, ease or stop obsessive thoughts.

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After a traumatic event, it is normal to feel anxiety. It usually goes away with time, but with PTSD, the anxiety is more intense and persistent because you keep reliving the event through nightmares and flashbacks. These symptoms make coping with daily life difficult, but they can be managed.

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Certain objects, situations or activities can cause uncontrollable, irrational and lasting fears. A phobia can be so overwhelming that a person may go to great lengths to avoid the source of their fear. If a specific phobia affects your daily life, there are therapies that can help you overcome it.

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Psychosis describes symptoms that disrupt a person’s thoughts and perceptions, making it difficult for them to recognize what is and isn’t real. First episode psychosis is when a person first shows signs of beginning to lose touch with reality, which usually begins when the person is an adolescent or young adult. Our state-of-the-art first-episode psychosis program at Harborview can help.

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Transplant recipients often develop significant psychiatric symptoms and disorders before or after their transplants. These symptoms may interfere with the recipient’s ability or motivation to follow a post-transplant regimen of care. Our transplant psychiatry specialists are experts at helping UW Medicine Transplant Services patients work through their strong emotions and fears.


A shocking, scary or dangerous experience or injury can affect people emotionally on a long-term basis. Our mental health care experts can help those who have suffered trauma find constructive ways of managing their emotions.

After a traumatic event, it is normal to feel anxiety that usually goes away with time. But with PTSD, the anxiety is more intense and persistent because you keep reliving the event through nightmares and flashbacks. These symptoms make coping with daily life difficult, but they can be managed.

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TBI is defined as a blow to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. People with a moderate to severe TBI often have problems with basic thinking skills such as paying attention, concentrating and remembering new information. TBI also can make pre-injury memory problems worse.

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It is important for victims of sexual assault to get medical and counseling help as soon as possible. The Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress at Harborview Medical Center is one of the most experienced programs in the country and a very safe place to get help.

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Should I go to the emergency room or urgent care?

If you have an illness or injury that you think may be life-threatening without immediate care, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

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If you have an illness or injury that is not life-threatening but needs attention today, go to urgent care.

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