The Department of Psychiatry was established in February 1996. The academic department is situated within the Faculty premises while the Professorial Unit is located at the Colombo South Teaching Hospital.

The Psychiatry curriculum is designed to produce doctors who will be able to consider psychological, social and psychiatric aspects of patient care, in addition to the physical aspect when making important management decisions in a variety of clinical settings.

In Phase I of the MBBS curriculum, students are introduced to communication skills, concepts of mental health and relevant aspects of psychology, sociology in the Personality & Professional Development Stream.

Training in Phase II includes lectures on psychiatric disorders and their management and clinical training. The duration of clinical training at this stage is 4 weeks, of which 1 week at the National Institute of Mental Health, 2 weeks at Base Hospital, Homagama and one week at selected community centers (non-clinical settings) including 'Dayamina' (day center for differently abled children and young adults), 'Women – in – Need', the elderly care at Helpage, and the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) (both rehabilitation centre and drug research laboratory).

Final year training involves lectures, tutorials and six weeks of clinical training at the Colombo South Teaching Hospital, University Psychiatry Unit.

The students receive exposure to a wide range of services offered by the multi-disciplinary team of the unit including liaison psychiatry, child psychiatry, general adult psychiatry, psycho-geriatrics, community services and subtance abuse.




The mission of the Department of Psychiatry is to provide training to undergraduates, postgraduates and allied disciplines, provide services of the highest quality to the public and to facilitate research in psychiatry & in allied disciplines.




Participation in Undergraduate Training Programmes

We participate in the MBBS, B.Sc. Nursing and B. Pharmacy degree programmes.


Participation in Postgraduate Training Programmes

We participate in the following postgraduate degree programme.

  • MD Psychiatry
  • Diploma in Psychiatry
  • MD Community Medicine
  • MD Family Medicine
  • MD Venereology
  • M.Phil in Clinical Psychology


Other Training Programmes

The department conducts an extension course of diploma in counseling. This is the first programme of this nature, initiated by a Medical Faculty in Sri Lanka.


Teaching Activities

The main teaching unit is 'Mana Suwa Piyasa' the psychiatry unit at the Colombo South Teaching Hospital. The department conducts the following teaching activities for undergraduates and postgraduates:

  • Ward Round Teaching
  • Clinic Based Teaching
  • Ward Classes
  • Tutorials
  • Lectures in Phase II of the Curriculum



The academic department is located within the Library building of the Faculty.

The Professorial Unit at Colombo South Teaching Hospital is the 'Mana Suwa Piyasa' Psychiatry unit, a unique purpose built unit that aims to provide holistic care to the public. The unit consists of male and female wards, a seclusion room and a geriatric unit, with a total bed-strength of 25, ECT suite and occupational theraphy unit.


Services to the Community

The following services are provided by the University Psychiatry Unit of the Colombo South Teaching Hospital:

  • Six outpatient clinics per week including one child clinic.
  • Inpatient care - including care for children, adolescents and nursing mothers.
  • Occupational therapy.
  • Behavioural therapy.
  • Group therapy for substance abuse.
  • Dementia centre at "Mallika Home for the Aged" - a monthly clinical service for the care of dementia patients in the centre.
  • Mental health awareness raising programmes - conducted at schools, MOH offices and within the hospital.
  • Publication of 'Mana Suwa Piyasa' magazine containing articles on mental health and psychiatry aimed at educating the general public.
  • Publication of various information leaflets by the staff of the department.
  • Specialized consultancy services to the Ministry of Health, NGO's and other organization.