Women’s Inpatient Treatment Service

The Women's Team on the UIC Psychiatric Unit specializes in caring for acute women's mental health issues, such as psychotic or affective symptoms during pregnancy or postpartum period.

  • Our Inpatient Unit has 35 beds to serve the acute, short-term needs of adult patient during periods of crisis.
  • Part of the inpatient unit (up to 12 beds) is dedicated to the treatment of women who suffer from various psychiatric conditions while pregnant and in postpartum.
  • The Women's Team generally consists of an attending psychiatrist, a women's fellow, a psychiatry resident, a social worker, medical students, occupational therapists, and psychiatric nurses. These professionals work together to stabilize a patient on the unit with medications and therapy, collaborate with family, and find resources in the community to bridge the care into an outpatient service. Additionally, daily patients’ rounds, medication adjustments, a variety of Group Treatments and the assistance of a Social Worker tuned to the needs of women in peripartum are available.
  • The Inpatient Service also works closely with the OBGYN team at UIC to obtain obstetric care for patients at the Inpatient facility.

Women’s Clinic

UIC offers an outpatient Women’s Clinic. The goal of the clinic is to provide expert mental health services to patients who are planning pregnancy, pregnant or postpartum, coping with fertility problems or pregnancy loss, or patients who may be struggling with premenstrual dysphoria or perimenopausal mood and anxiety disorders.

  • The Women's Mental Health Clinic, which has a focus on medication management, operates on Mondays from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. This clinic is mainly comprised of an Attending Psychiatrist, a Women's Mental Health Fellow, Psychiatry Residents, Medical Students, and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
  • The Women’s Fellow and the outpatient attending psychiatrists also offer additional medication management sessions at various times through out the week.
  • Psychotherapy services are offered by licensed clinical social workers who tailor treatment modality to meet the individual needs of patients. Examples of therapy services offered include cognitive behavioral therapy, dynamic therapy, interpersonal therapy, mindfulness, EMDR, bereavement, and attachment based therapies.

Women’s Consultation Service

  • The Women's Mental Health program provides one-time consultation meetings requested by community psychiatrists with desire to seek a more specialized psychiatric assessment in women's mental health. Topics include: treatment for preconception planning, approach of psychiatric issues related to infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss, treatment options during pregnancy and lactation, postpartum, perimenopause, menopause, postmenopause, etc. Our specialists perform a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation and offer expert opinions about safety, indications, risks and benefits of psychiatric medications in individual situations. They also provide resources for psychotherapy and support groups targeting those specific issues, and remain available to the referring physician for continued collaboration should new issues arise.
  • The Women's Mental Health program also offers consultation for a variety of Women’s Health issues at UIH from Monday thru Friday between 8am and 4:30pm. This is usually run by the Women's Fellow and Psychiatry Residents under an Attending's supervision. There is also a resident and an attending on duty for emergencies on the weekends.

For more information or to set up an initial evaluation, please call Marisela Villareal at (312) 355-1223.


Marcela Almeida, M.D.

Emily Close, LCSW

Amishi Mehta, M.D., fellow

Madeline Muecke, LCSW

Sittanur Shoush, M.D.

Women’s Mental Health Program

Director: Maria T. Caserta, M.D., Ph.D.

Research Director: Pauline Maki, Ph.D.

The Women's Mental Health Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago was established to provide excellence in clinical services, professional education, and research. The Women’s Mental Health Program is a pioneer in Illinois and has been nationally recognized for its achievement, having won prestigious awards, like The American Psychiatric Association’s Gold Achievement Award for innovative mental health service delivery, and the American College of Psychiatrists’ Award for Creativity in Psychiatric Education.

The Women’s Mental Health Program at UIC remains the only program in Illinois to offer both inpatient and outpatient women's mental health services, and the only program to also provide both inpatient and outpatient services specifically for pregnant women. As home to one of the first Women's Mental Health Fellowships in the country, UIC is also dedicated to shaping the future of women's mental health education.

The Women’s Mental Health Program will play a crucial role in implementing the recently passed Mothers Act (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s110-1375), which calls for increased support for education, research, and clinical interventions for Postpartum Depression.

At UIC, dedication to excellence in clinical practice is the foundation for advancing the frontier of women’s mental health practices through research and education.