Dr. Nancy Swerdlow Downs was born in Lawrence, KS and raised throughout the United States. She is an H.S. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, and Director of the College Mental Health Program (CMHP) for UC San Diego Health System. Her clinical and academic work focuses on integrative treatments for depression and anxiety in primary care settings, and novel interventions for suicide prevention.
Currently, as the Director of CMHP, Dr. Downs and her team provide consultation-liaison services to staff and faculty, and cost-effective mental health care for ~35,000 UC San Diego undergraduate, graduate and professional students. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a reviewer for several academic journals and has provided leadership to the UC Office of the President Psychiatrist Task Force and National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC) College Mental Health Task Force. With over 18 years of full time equivalent academic experience, spanning 31 years, Dr. Downs continues to appreciate working with patients, educating trainees, harnessing technology (including tele-mental health and predictive analytics), contributing to the academic literature and creating innovative, data based programs, which enhance our community.
Dr. Downs’ academic creative work centers around developing, funding and executing inaugural clinical and teaching programs which continue to flourish: 1) the CMHP, which delivers integrative, ongoing psychiatric services to students with complex, co-morbid mental health needs; 2) the UCSD Psychiatry Internship Program including multidisciplinary sites in internal medicine and neurology; 3) the UCSD Combined Family Medicine and Psychiatry Residency Program, based at St. Vincent De Paul Village; 4) UCSD Psychiatry Services on-campus, integrated for both the Student Health and Counseling Services and capitalizing on EMR technology to track at-risk students and assist primary care providers with mental health algorithms; and 5) Healer Education Assessment and Referral (HEAR) program, which utilizes an anonymous web-based screening assessment tool to detect burnout, depression, and suicidal thoughts/behaviors in health care providers.