Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health Research

Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health Research

August 27, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


The Department of Psychiatry at the
University of Oxford celebrates its 50th anniversary we show how it has developed
over the years and where the team is heading now and in the future the late
Professor Michael Gelder founded the department in 1969 and led it until his
retirement in 1996 way back in 1960 when George Pickering the Regis professor of
Medicine decided that the medical school or to have a psychiatry department they
formed a committee the committee decided that should be a chair of Psychiatry and
it should be a research chair with very little clinical responsibility and it
wasn’t until the end of the sixties that George Pickering manage to get an
endowment from the Handly Foundation support of the chair that
everything with the need to fund the rest of the department the lectures and
so on now in our fiftieth year we can see more than ever the importance of
having the capacity we need to exploit the exciting advances in neuroscience
for the benefit of patients apart from teaching the fundamental goal of our
research active clinical department is to deliver advances in the prevention
and care of medical disorders to do this effectively requires the brightest
scientists the best scientific facilities strong partnerships and
collaborations with academia and Industry and patient groups epidemiology
and data science have always been a strength of the department research in
Oxford led to UK legislation to restrict pack sizes of paracetamol which has
resulted in over 30% reduction in the number of deaths from paracetamol
poisoning teams in the department have taken a lead in promoting systematic
reviews on psychiatric treatment which has led to reliable evidence-based
recommendations for health professionals and the treatments they offer their
patients collaborations with other Oxford departments have led to important
discoveries about how treatments work at a biological level and how they can be
developed and improved such as eating depression and anxiety disorders this
led to a series of highly effective cognitive behavior therapies now
recommended as first-line treatments current innovations include the use of
virtual reality to augment the effectiveness of psychological
treatments Oxford is a leading research center on mindfulness based Cognitive
Behavioural Therapy CBT and the Oxford mindfulness centre was created in 2008
Oxford University is ranked as the world’s best institution for medical and
health teaching and research in The Times Higher Education World University
Rankings for eight consecutive years we were rated first overall for research
quality in psychology psychiatry and neuroscience in the last research
excellence framework a strong relationship with the NHS and track
record of translational research led to a successful application for a mental
health and dementia specific NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Center
Oxford health NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Oxford Department of
Psychiatry are working on proposals to develop the
Warnford site as the centre for translational neuroscience with new
research and clinical facilities as we approach the 200th anniversary of the
founding of the Warnford hospital and the 400th anniversary of the publication
of Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy the shared aspiration is to create a unique
campus on the warnford site integrated with the rest of the Headington clinical
academic campus and with strong links to the local community to support the
development of new treatments for mental disorders and dementia a dedicated
Clinical Trials unit and clinical research facility were established the
Oxus Centre for Human Brain Activity is an internationally leading imaging
facility supporting translational and clinical research and part of the
Welcome Center for integrative neuro imaging another innovation is True
Colours a self management system allowing a person to record and monitor
their feelings and symptoms using text email and the Internet this approach has
the potential to empower informed decision making by patients, their
families and care team 2019 and beyond is an exciting time for mental health
research with global awareness and commitment to improvements in treatment
and access a strong public voice and opinion will help demonstrate that
quality science and its impact has never been more in demand Help us translate
these advances in scientific research into better mental health for all