Our Department has a number of active research programs spanning the gamut from the level of molecules to that of populations, focusing on enhancing mental health and well-being from childhood and adolescence through adulthood and older adulthood. Research in the Department of Psychiatry addresses a diversity of content areas including mood and anxiety disorders, personality and personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, and suicide prevention. We have expertise in community outreach and engagement, early intervention, clinical psychotherapy and medication trials, neuropsychiatry, mental health service delivery, educational research and knowledge translation.
Research activity within the Department of Psychiatry at Western continues to advance and proliferate in volume, diversity, complexity, and impact. Our faculty members publish in high-impact journals, collaborate with other research leaders across Canada and Internationally, and have earned competitive research funding from such agencies as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Ontario Mental Health Foundation, the Stanley Medical Research Foundation, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and many others. For further details concerning research within Western Psychiatry, please see the Annual Report.
The research productivity of any Department is primarily dependent on three things: the encouragement and support of the research activities of current faculty; the recruitment of new researchers; and the cultivation of research interest, activity and skills in trainees. The Department of Psychiatry is committed to each of these methods of furthering research.
The Department of Psychiatry has three endowed research chairs. Our core faculty includes both clinicians and basic scientists with a variety of research interests and skills, and this provides the opportunity for novel collaborative approaches to important research issues from a variety of perspectives. We strive to provide a research atmosphere in which collaboration is encouraged and enjoyed along with mutual respect and intellectual stimulation. Research alliances have developed in recent years between psychiatry and researchers from other departments and disciplines, including Anatomy and Cell Biology, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Medical Biophysics, Nursing, Philosophy and Psychology. With respect to recruitment, the Department continues to hire new faculty with a commitment to research.
The Department believes that it has a responsibility to promote the development of new researchers. This can be accomplished through providing research experience and training to graduate students and residents. Although the Department does not have a formal graduate studies program in psychiatry, students in other disciplines, such as basic medical sciences, epidemiology and psychology, have frequently been involved in research being conducted in psychiatry. The Western University Department has training objectives in research for the Residency Program in Psychiatry. These training objectives are intended to insure that all residents develop a basic knowledge of research design and critical appraisal in order to intelligently appraise research reports they read and hear. In addition, it is intended that those residents who have an interest in developing greater proficiency in research will have the opportunity to work with a mentor who is an active researcher within the Department. During their training some residents complete a graduate degree in a related area such as epidemiology and biostatistics. In addition, there is a joint faculty and resident Research Interest Group that meets regularly to discuss on-going research projects.