The Department of Psychiatry was established in the Faculty of Medicine, Peradeniya in 1971. Professor M.A.A Rodrigo who was the first psychiatrist to establish a psychiatric unit in a general hospital in Sri Lanka was the first head of the psychiatric unit.
Teaching hospital Peradeniya is the clinical unit, which is affiliated to the department. The department’s functions include teaching and research but a greater part of it’s time is taken up by the heavy load of clinical work. The department conducts teaching program for undergraduate medical students and post graduates.
The Department provides acute, community and rehabilitation care through its units to psychiatric patients in the central province. The acute care unit provides in patient services and a range of out patient services.
The department is also engaged in several research programmes to investigate alcohol and drug consumption in the country, suicide patterns and prevention, community mental health intervention outcome, sex therapy, child psychiatry and mental retardation.