The New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI), established in 1895, was one of the first institutions in the United States to integrate teaching, research and therapeutic approaches to the care of patients with mental illnesses. In 1925, NYSPI affiliated with Presbyterian Hospital, adding general hospital facilities to the Institute's psychiatric services and research laboratories. Walkway bridges to and from NYSPI and New York Presbyterian Hospital provide comfortable and efficient all-weather avenues for patient and staff travel within the Columbia University Medical Center. The Institute is the flagship for the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, for which it is the primary location of research and educational activities.
Since its inception, NYSPI has been at the forefront of psychiatry, making major contributions to the clinical care and understanding of the mentally ill. Among these accomplishments are: the discovery of the spirochaetal origin of general paresis, the earliest use of lithium in the United States, the first data describing a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia, leadership in the discovery of the genes causing Huntington's and Wilson's disease, and the development of DSM-III, DSM III-R and DSM-IV.