As the pioneer of psychiatry in Taiwan, for so many years, this department has been playing the leading role in the development of different therapeutic models, the cultivation of professionals, the education of mental health students, and the promotion of community mental health. Therapeutic models include: biological treatment, forensic psychiatric assessment, psychotherapy, group therapy, community psychiatric program, etc. The cultivation of professionals includes training of residents and allied professionals such as clinical psychologists and social workers. The promotion of community mental health includes the day care program for chronic patients, suicide intervention, family violence, school and public mental health programs.
The goals of the training and education for residents emphasize the cultivation of honorable attitude, broad enough knowledge and good skills. For medical students, in addition to knowledge and basic skills in general mental health and psychiatry, medical humanity, death education and medical ethics are also encompassed. For other related professionals,the integration of theory and practice is stressed.
The Department of Neurology and Psychiatry of the National Taiwan University Hospital was founded in 1946, the first psychiatric center in Taiwan. In 1955, the Division of Clinical Psychology was set up. Thereafter, in 1956 the Division of Social Work, the Division of Occupational Therapy, and Child Mental Health Center were established successively. In 1965, the new building of the Department of Psychiatry was completed and the day care center began to serve the public. Since then, with both hardware and software, the department has commenced its productive development, which combines teaching, service and research. In 1980, the department was divided into Department of Neurology and Department of Psychiatry.
Research in this department has been very active. Since 1946, the first psychiatric epidemiological research (in Mu-Zuh, Hsin-Puh, An-Ping) was launched. In 1961, in these three villages, there was a follow-up study, arousing the attention of the world. In 1966, the department participated in the International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia (IPSS), becoming one of the nine international research centers. Form 1982 to 1986, we accomplished the Taiwan Psychiatric Epidemiological Project using diagnostic interview schedule (DIS) based on standard diagnostic criteria. This was one of the world known 3rd wave Psychiatric epidemiological studies. From then on, our research, other than continuing schizophrenia research, gradually expanded to other fields of psychiatry, mainly included geriatric psychiatric illness, autism, PCB's children, forensic psychiatry, aboriginals in Taiwan, minor mental illness, psychosomatic medicine, consultation liaison psychiatry, psychopathology, infant and child development, community psychiatry, and lead poisoning of children. Since 1989, the research work has extended to molecular genetics, neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies of schizophrenia. The other areas of study also include AIDS, cancer, medical ethics, and medical education.
The department has 4 subspecialty sections, including general psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and community psychiatry. In the future, one of the main goals of the department is to set up Mental Health Traing and Rehabilitation Center.
The psychiatric teaching for medical students focuses on imparting knowledge of psychiatric disorders and letting the medical students become familiar with psychiatric practice. The teaching for other undergraduates is to provide relevant psychiatric and mental health knowledge for their specialties.