The Psychiatric Research Institute

Combining research, education and clinical services into one state-of-the-art facility, the UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute is the only one of its kind in Arkansas. With its tall glass facade and naturally lighted atrium, PRI is a monument to those who helped create it and those who continue to serve it as they attempt to shed light on the world of mental illness.

The five-story, 110,000 square-foot building offers inpatient and outpatient services, with 40 beds dedicated to psychiatric patients. The Walker Family Clinic is home to the majority of PRI’s outpatient clinics, including individual, group and family therapies utilizing evidence-based practice techniques for mental health and addictive diseases. Located on the structure’s second floor, it will provide specialty programs, including treatment for addictive, eating, anxiety, depressive and post-traumatic stress disorders. The clinic expects more than 50,000 visitors each year.  

Patients will have access to some of the most experienced psychiatrists in the state. Attending physicians have an average of more than 10 years of experience and additionally will be able to integrate the cutting-edge research being done at PRI in the Fred and Louise Dierks Translational Research Laboratories.

The Dierks Research Laboratories include the Center for Addiction Research and a methadone clinic that promotes more convenient and safe access for patients and guests. The CAR staff utilize these labs for their innovative work studying the intricate brain functions of individuals addicted to various substances, including cocaine, tobacco and alcohol.

PRI’s Division of Health Services Research is one of the largest, most comprehensive and most innovative health services research centers in the nation. The division’s mission is to improve mental health care in the United States through the development, implementation, and dissemination of policy relevant health services research. Headed by John Fortney, Ph.D., the division of Health Services Research focuses on four themes to guide its work: access to and utilization of care; outcomes and effectiveness of care; quality of care, and the implementation of best practices.

Some of PRI’s specialty programs currently include the Chemical Dependency Outpatient Program, Neuropsychology Service, the Eating Disorder Clinic, the Disruptive Behavior Disorders Program and the Developmental Disorders Program. PRI also houses a 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine dedicated to mental health research and treatment. This provides researchers, clinicians, and patients with the most up-to-date technology in understanding the functions and illnesses of the brain.