The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UC Davis Children's Hospital is an academically based program that conducts teaching, performs research and is active in national organizations at the evolutionary forefront of delivering effective psychiatric services for children, adolescents and their families.

The department’s psychologists and psychotherapists examine, analyze and treat patients in the UC Davis Health System and in Sacramento County’s system of care. Through psychotherapy, children learn to express their feelings. After determining the underlying cause of a child’s mental disorder, the psychotherapist can help the child devise ways of coping with the illness. Psychotherapy may involve only counseling, while in some cases administration of medications such as antidepressants may be advised.

The Department of Psychiatry, which operates an autism spectrum psychopharmacology and differential diagnosis clinic at the MIND Institute (for Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) is now developing a Bipolar Disorder Clinic.