Mood Disorders Centre of Excellence - UBC Hospital - Vancouver Coastal Health

Mood Disorders
Centre of Excellence

UBC Hospital

Mood Disorders Outpatient Clinic

Who We Are

The outpatient Mood Disorders Clinic, located in the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, has two major programs: the BC Credit Union Centre of Excellence for Depression Research and Care, and the Bipolar Disorders Program. These function primarily as consultation clinics, in which patients receive careful assessment, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations. Referrals to the centre are made by Family Physicians or Psychiatrists.

Who We See

The Mood Disorders Outpatient Clinic provides consultation and assessments for adults with mood disorders, primarily within the Vancouver Coastal Health region (Vancouver, North Shore, Richmond, and the Sunshine Coast).


Consultation Clinic

The assessment clinic primarily provides one-time consultations for patients with mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder) that have diagnostic issues/problems, poor responses to treatment, and/or complex management issues. Within the clinic, there are specialized programs for patients with seasonal affective disorder (SAD, or winter depression) and those with bipolar disorder. Clinic psychiatrists have particular expertise in medication management and other biological treatments (e.g., light therapy, electroconvulsive therapy).

The clinic is able to provide short-term follow-up (typically 2-3 months) only for a limited number of patients, primarily in clinical research protocols, but periodic re-assessment is available. Individual counseling or psychotherapy is not offered, although referrals may be suggested.


First-Episode Mania Program

An innovative clinical program offered by the Mood Disorders Centre addresses an underserved population – those patients who have recently had their first manic episode and a new diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The Systematic Treatment Optimization Program in Early Mania (STOP-EM) will provide early and accurate identification and diagnosis, using comprehensive clinical assessment as well as neuropsychology and neuroimaging approaches. Treatment will include medication and psychosocial therapies.

“Patients, especially young adults, with bipolar disorder often suffer for years without correct diagnosis or treatment. We want to increase chances of improvement and recovery by diagnosing and treating individuals soon after their first manic episode,” says UBC professor of psychiatry Dr. Lakshmi Yatham, director of the program and a world leader in treatment of bipolar disorder.

Patients aged 14 and older with a current or recent first manic episode can be referred to the program for assessment, treatment and optional participation in the research component of STOP-EM. Researchers will assess social and intellectual functioning, brain structure and chemistry and provide genetic testing.


Working with Depression

Working with Depression is a clinical research program for workplace depression located in the Mood Disorders Centre at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Hospital in Vancouver. We are affiliated with the UBC Centre for Brain Health and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute.

Our mission is to improve work functioning outcomes in people with clinical depression. Our scientific focus is on early recognition and intervention to prevent short-term and long-term disability. We create and evaluate innovative platforms for assessment and evidence-based treatment for workplace depression, and translate knowledge to health professionals and businesses.

For more information, please see www.WorkingWithDepression.ca


Bipolar Psychoeducation Group

Psychoeducation is a process of learning about your diagnosis to help you manage it better. Research studies have shown that psychoeducation in bipolar disorder helps reduce the risk of relapse and decrease highs and lows. We recommend psychoeducation for any person with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, particularly those with a recent diagnosis. We offer short-term (8-week) group psychoeducation sessions that are co-facilitated by a psychiatrist and a psychologist. Referrals are accepted from family physicians and psychiatrists, and interested patients can contact us directly.


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