Dr. Amy Barnhorst

Dr. Barnhorst is the Vice Chair for Community Psychiatry in the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry, and Medical Director of a county crisis unit and adjacent a 50-bed inpatient facility. In her clinical work, she provides acute psychiatric care for people with serious mental illness who are in jail, psychiatrically hospitalized or on an involuntary hold in the emergency department.

Dr. Barnhorst’s academic interests include violence and suicide prevention, firearm policy, and community mental health. She got involved in gun violence prevention after the Sandy Hook shooting, when her own children were in second and third grade. After joining the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy in 2014, she helped contribute to the development and implementation of California’s Gun Violence Restraining Order. With other Consortium researchers, she has presented on expert panels in multiple states to help educate legislators about the evidence behind various firearm-related policies. She has written multiple academic papers on firearms, mental illness and the law. Her writing has also been featured in the New York Times, the Sacramento Bee and on her blog at Psychology Today.

After graduating from Dartmouth College with a degree in environmental and evolutionary biology and earth sciences, she worked teaching outdoor education in Yosemite National Park and led backcountry mountaineering courses for the Colorado Outward Bound School. She then completed medical school and psychiatric residency at UC Davis and joined the faculty soon thereafter. Dr. Barnhorst lives in Sacramento with her husband and two daughters.