Psychiatry is a medical specialty concerned with the mind, human behaviour, and health and well-being. It involves assessment, management and treatment of psychiatric conditions – including psychiatric emergencies and acute conditions, as well as comorbid and chronic psychiatric conditions. It is underpinned by knowledge of internal medicine and the neurosciences, including neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurochemistry, and genetics and inheritance. It looks at different psychiatric disorders, their epidemiology, aetiology, phenomenology, symptoms, and comorbidities. It uses a range of assessment techniques, including interviewing, mental state examination, and classification, which help guide diagnosis and treatment. Treatments in psychiatry span across the social, biological, and psychological domains. Social psychiatry involves principals of recovery philosophy, awareness of stigma and psychosocial contexts, improvement of health literacy and public education, and facilitation of social support and other non-medical support services, such as counselling or group therapy. Biological treatments involve psychopharmacology prescription and management, and psychological treatments, including interventions and therapies such as cognitive-behavioural therapy. Psychiatry studies basic psychology, human development, ethics, patient and carer empowerment, legislation related to mental health, and statistic and research - including critical analysis.
Psychiatry subspecialties include: Addiction psychiatry, Administration psychiatry, Child and adolescent psychiatry, Community psychiatry, Consultation/liaison psychiatry, Emergency psychiatry, Psychiatric research, and Psychosomatic medicine. Psychiatric services are provided in hospitals, in both inpatient and outpatient settings, and in private and community clinics and institutions. Psychiatric care is provided by multi-disciplinary teams which include medical specialists, nursing, community and support staff, and care is integrated with other medical, health and social support services.