The UC Davis Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences has a strong regional and national reputation, and a rich history of excellence in training leaders in cultural psychiatry.

Our vision

Advance the mental health and wellness of individuals, communities and populations by approaching psychiatry through the lens of culture, diversity and social inclusion.

Overall goal

Achieve equity and improve the lives of diverse populations affected by behavioral health conditions through education, research, community empowerment, advocacy, and policy action.

What is cultural psychiatry?

Cultural psychiatry operates under a framework that culture is learned, propagated, constantly changing, and affects how individuals understand mental health and behaviors, and how mental health professionals provide services. In many ways, culture can affect what symptoms individuals manifest, conceptualization of symptoms and mental illness, understanding of treatment, and impact relationships between providers and clients.

Cultural psychiatry is not limited to understanding racial and ethnic cultural influences but also the impacts of gender, sexuality, immigration, socioeconomic status, and much more. Individuals are not bound to any one culture and are impacted by the intersection of multiple cultural identities.

Take a deeper dive

The Evolution of Cultural Psychiatry

For an in-depth discussion on cultural psychiatry, read Ruth Shim, M.D., M.P.H.’s guest editorial, “The Evolution of Cultural Psychiatry” in Psychiatric Annals.

Cultural psychiatry training in our local community

Sacramento is one of the most ethnically diverse and integrated metropolitan areas in the country. Our department has long recognized the importance of providing culturally relevant care through its commitment to cultural psychiatry training. As a result, UC Davis psychiatry residents receive robust training in working with diverse and marginalized patients across a variety of treatment settings at UC Davis and Sacramento county.

Our training sites