Mental and behavioral disorders impose a significant burden on public health, and are among the leading causes of disability worldwide. Faculty in the Program of Psychiatric Epidemiology use the tools of epidemiology and biostatistics to understand the occurrence and distribution of mental and behavioral disorders across people, space and time, and to investigate the causes and consequences of these disorders in order to develop more effective intervention strategies to treat and prevent them and to promote mental health. Faculty are involved in a range of population-based studies of mental and behavioral disorders that span the life course from in utero to the elderly, typically with studies that are prospective and developmentally oriented.
Psychiatric Epidemiology is fundamental to all of the research in the Department of Mental Health, and faculty in this program area interact with and participate in most if not all the other research areas. In addition, faculty in this area collaborate with investigators from faculty from other departments in the Schools of Public Health, Medicine and Nursing. There is a long history of productive collaboration with faculty from the Department of Biostatistics and the Department of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the School of Medicine. These faculty have joined together to conduct landmark studies in Psychiatric Epidemiology, and this rich tradition continues today.