Department of Psychiatry was established at the University of Hong Kong in 1971, which is the first academic department of psychiatry in Hong Kong (HK), with Professor Pow-Meng Yap being the first professor of psychiatry in HK. In the same year, University Psychiatric Unit of Queen Mary Hospital (QMH) which is the first general hospital psychiatric unit in HK and Asia was established.
In 1976, Child Psychiatric Unit was established as a subspecialty in psychiatry in HK providing the first comprehensive services to children with psychiatric disorders in HK, including refined identification and treatment of children with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
In 1990s, the academic unit and clinical service facilities of the Department were expanded by incorporating general adult psychiatric unit, child psychiatric unit, psychogeriatric unit, day patient and rehabilitation services in QMH. The capacity for undergraduate teaching in psychiatry was also enhanced by developing a comprehensive psychiatry teaching programme in the MBBS curriculum.
As we progress into the 21th century, research team of the Department has further expanded areas of research to different domains such as neurocognitive mechanisms, neuroimaging, electrophysiology and genetics, alongside clinical approaches, for more comprehensive investigations of various mental disorders, for instance schizophrenia and early psychosis, mood disorders, sleep disorders, dementia and substance use disorder.