I have the privilege to serve as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University, one of the most vibrant and creative Departments in the country. We have a distinguished record of innovation, collegial scholarship, academic excellence and world-renowned program, while never forgetting that at the heart of everything we do is person with a mental health or addiction problem and their family.
We work closely with Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Josephs Healthcare to support a comprehensive and well integrated network of academically focused health services, where much of our teaching takes place. And our work is also enriched by our partnerships with local community and our colleagues in primary care, which reflects our commitment to giving something back to Hamilton and to other communities in Ontario, in Canada and abroad.
But academic productivity and partnerships are only part of the measure of who we are. The other, in many ways our greatest strengths, is our people – our faculty, staff and learners - whose commitment, hard work, energy and creativity create an atmosphere in which academic inquiry can flourish, and who provide each other with the support and encouragement that brings out the best in each of us and make McMaster a place we are all proud to be part of.
And looking ahead, our challenge is to continue to create new knowledge to address the current and emerging challenges facing individuals with addiction and mental health problems. To guide us, our strategic document “Equity, Innovation, and Partnerships” (our 3 core values) defines three strategic directions - Changing Trajectories; Integrating Psychiatry across Medicine and Healthcare; and Empowering Individuals, Families, and Communities, that provides a common framework for our academic activities. Individually each will bring together faculty with shared interests to exchange ideas and develop new areas of excellence. And together they make a statement about the kind of department we want to be.