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Head of Department: Professor Dan J. Stein

Departmental Profile

The Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health is strongly committed to strengthening the integration between services, teaching, and research.  Clinicians in each of the Divisions of the Department (addiction psychiatry/psychology, child and adolescent psychiatry/psychology, consultation-liaison psychiatry/psychology, forensic psychiatry/psychology, psychiatric intensive care, intellectual disability, psychotherapy/neuroclinic, neuropsychiatry, and public and community mental health) are active in research in their particular areas.  Thus clinical research in the Department covers key clinical problems that are relevant in the South African context, including behavioural and neuropsychiatric aspects of HIV/AIDS, substance use disorders (including fetal alcohol spectrum disorder), adolescent risk-taking behaviour, posttraumatic stress disorder, and mental health policy and services.

In addition, the Department plays a key role in several cross-departmental and cross-institutional research initiatives:

  • The Brain-Behaviour Initiative (BBI) is one of UCT’s signature themes, and the Cross-University Brain-Behaviour Initiative (CUBBI), involving UCT and the University of Stellenbosch, is a NRF funded Research Niche Area.  The initial focus of the BBI and CUBBI are is on trauma. More details of the aims, methods, and partners, are available at -
  • The Adolescent Health Research Unit is examining adolescent risk-taking behaviour, predictors of school dropout, and violence in intimate adolescent relationships. Data analysis is in progress for two large school-based cluster randomised control trials of AIDS prevention.

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