Natacha M. est hôtesse d’accueil aux HUG et travaille en psychiatrie. Elle aime accueillir le plus chaleureusement possible les autres, qu’ils se sentent bien, rassurés. Que ce soit des patients, des visiteurs ou du personnel soignant.

avec Vincent Beetschen. Vincent a découvert la psychiatrie grâce à la mobilité interne des HUG. La patience et le sang-froid sont particulièrement importants en psychiatrie avec des patients en grande difficulté.

Department of Psychiatry


Mission of the Department of Psychiatry

Psychiatry is a discipline with multiple interfaces and tensions; it is a field that has seen considerable growth in Geneva, thanks to the continuous interest of the population and the political authority with respect to mental disorders and their social repercussions.

These rich and often contradictory debates have characterized the progress of psychiatry in Geneva over the past 30 years.

The boundary between a desire to remove the stigma by moving psychiatry closer to other medical disciplines and the risk of denying the special features that are clearly components of psychological disturbance; the balance between the traditional vision of a psychiatric hospital, outside the city and community-based psychiatry concerned with marginalization and exclusion, or indeed the optimum combination of a care mission with the mission of protecting the community; these are a few examples of conceptual questions that have allowed psychiatry to mature in Geneva, the “City of Calvin”.

At this time, at the beginning of the 21st century, the Department of Psychiatry is fulfilling a triple mission.

Firstly, effectively treating diseases that have become increasingly common and polymorphous, while showing respect for the patients and their families.

For all patients, three complementary areas make it possible to adapt the care offered, based on the profile of each patient: psychiatry, which admits patients and oversees urgent care at the general hospital, while fighting against the establishment of a long-term psychological disorders; general psychiatry of the various sectors that includes a hospital component and a large semi-hospital and outpatient facility, aimed at satisfying demand for care in a community setting; and finally specialized psychiatry, covering a broad spectrum of themes organized into sectors (addiction, neuropsychiatry, prison psychiatry, mental development), but also outpatient programs for complex, treatment-resistant diseases.

Secondly, teaching students, but also residents, by making them aware of the psychological, biological and social dimensions of psychiatry.

For future psychiatrists, teaching psychotherapy is a cornerstone to constructing their identity.

Very specific care is given to this type of teaching, via theoretical and practical courses and through very in-depth practice, which is entirely supported by the institution.

And then, trying to understand the origins of mental disorders using cognitive and affective neuroscience, a true specialty at the Geneva site, but also to assess our practices through patient-oriented clinical research. 

Medical activities

The Adult Psychiatry Unit is organized around in- and outpatient care.

There are 3 sectors (Eaux-Vives, Jonctions, Servette), each of which has an Outpatient Psychiatry and Integrated Psychotherapy Center (CAPPI) consisting of: 

Adult Psychiatry


Mission of the Adult Psychiatry Division 

Adult psychiatry is the specialty dealing with prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness in adults.

The Adult Psychiatry Division (SPA) consists of a large number of units that make up the Adult Psychiatry Unit (sectors) and the Geriatric Psychiatry Unit (UPG (FR).

The main missions of the Adult Psychiatry Division (SPA) are care, education and research. These are as follows: 

  • To offer psychiatric, psychosocial and psychotherapeutic treatments to the adult population of the canton of Geneva, as part of its public service mission.
  • To aid in the prevention of mental illness and the psychosocial effects of psychiatric disorders, together with various partners.
  • To contribute to the continuing education of staff.
  • To offer education and training in psychiatry and psychotherapy that meets FMH requirements for postgraduate training and continuing education for doctors.
  • To develop and carry out research in these areas.

These missions are carried out in combination with the specific missions of other divisions in the psychiatry department that also deal with adult patients: Consultative Psychiatry and Crisis Intervention Division (SPLIC), Addiction Division, the Psychiatric Specialties Division and the Penal Medicine Division.