Over the years in response to emerging needs and recommendations of various expert committees the scope of the Department was widened in order to have a greater impact on improving mental health care in Sri Lanka. Behavioural Sciences, Biomedical Ethics, Child and Community Psychiatry programmes were strengthened. This necessitated the change of the name to “Department of Psychological Medicine” in 1994 and an increase of the academic cadre positions to carry out increasing training, clinical, research and development activities.
The Department has pioneered the teaching of Psychiatry for undergraduates in Sri Lanka. The undergraduate Psychiatry programme has expanded from two weeks of clinical attachment in 1969 to one month of attachment which included two questions in the medicine paper in 1981. In 1995 with the curriculum revisions a separate Mental Health Module and two months of clinical attachment was introduced. In 1995 the Department became the first among medical schools in Sri Lanka to introduce the evaluation of Psychiatry as a separate subject in the final year.