1 million Around
The Ramsay Way 2019 | 04 13
MENTAL HEALTH NEWS
New depression treatment for patients
at The Cairns Clinic and Shepparton
A treatment for depression that focuses a magnetic field to stimulate the brain is now available to people
in Cairns for the first time.
The Cairns Clinic is the only facility in the region to offer
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), a treatment
for depression in patients who have not responded to
TMS uses localised magnetic fields to stimulate parts of the
brain in patients with depression.
The Cairns Clinic psychiatrist Dr Christine Kilcawley said the
treatment was non-invasive and was delivered while patients
were awake and fully conscious with minimal discomfort.
Patients sit in a chair similar to a dentist’s chair with a
magnetic coil placed just above the pre-frontal cortex. Each
session takes about 40 minutes and patients typically receive
20 - 30 sessions on consecutive days.
“Some of our patients report that they are feeling different
within about two weeks of the treatment,” Dr Kilcawley said.
“It is important that a thorough psychiatric evaluation is
undertaken for each patient to determine if TMS is a suitable
treatment,” she said. TMS will also be offered to patients in
Victoria through Sherbourne Clinic at Shepparton Private
Hospital from early 2020.
Psychiatrist Dr Vijay Raj said: “We already offer a number of
highly effective treatments for depression including medication
and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), but these can come with
side effects that some patients find difficult to tolerate.
While we will still need to do a thorough psychiatric
assessment to ensure TMS is suitable for individual patients,
for many it will be a less invasive way of stimulating areas of
the brain which regulate mood." Ramsay already provides
TMS at the following facilities: The Adelaide Clinic, Albert
Road Clinic, Berkeley Vale Private Hospital, Caloundra Private
Clinic, Dudley Private Hospital, The Hollywood Clinic, New
Farm Clinic, Northside Group Cremorne Clinic, Northside
Group St Leonards Clinic, Northside Group Macarthur Clinic,
Northside Group Wentworthville Clinic, The Southport Private
Hospital and Lakeside Clinic.
Top tips for
on mental health
During Mental Health Week, Mitcham Private
Hospital urged pregnant women with a history
of anxiety or depression to prepare a mental health
plan before their babies are born.
The hospital’s Perinatal Mental Health Services Manager,
Libby Crosby, said even minor underlying or previous mental
health conditions can have a devastating impact on new
mums after the birth of a baby.
“The hormonal shift that follows the birth of a baby coupled
with the change in lifestyle in becoming a mother can set
off or amplify underlying mental health conditions,”
Mrs Crosby said.
“This is particularly true for many professional, working
women who are accustomed to managing their lives
successfully and who have often continued working until late
in their pregnancies, leaving little time to prepare mentally
for after the baby arrives.”
Mrs Crosby said the perinatal mental health unit at Ramsay
Health Care’s Mitcham Private Hospital is seeing a rise
in patients from the growing awareness around perinatal
“We are seeing an increase in anxiety and depression in
mothers and a rise in the severity of mental health issues
amongst women in that perinatal period,” Mrs Crosby said.
“Many women focus on their physical health during
pregnancy and tend not to think about their mental wellbeing
Mrs Crosby offered three top tips for mental wellbeing
for pregnant women and new mums:
• Take a holistic approach. Identify any history of anxiety,
depression or other mental illness and put a plan in place.
This can be as simple as talking to your GP.
• Work with your partner to keep an open mind. There are
multiple unknowns in having a baby, making it impossible to
mentally prepare for one. Try not to set ideal notions of the
birth or the household routine once baby comes along.
• Create a community of supportive people before the baby
is born. Women in Australian often work until late in their
pregnancies and no longer have multi-generational help
at home after they give birth. It’s therefore vital that they
develop a network of people they can rely on.
Albert Road Clinic
walk for mental
Staff from Albert Road Clinic (ARC) have taken
part in the Mental Health Wellbeing Walk as
part of National Mental Health Month 2019.
It is the second year the clinic has taken part in the annual
event, organised by the Mental Health Foundation Australia.
The charity aims to raise money for mental health services
and promote the importance of good mental health.
14 staff members were joined by family and friends, to walk in
either the 5km or 10km course through Albert Park Lake.
The team raised $380, which will assist in opening a youth
drop-in centre in the city of Yarra for university students and
of Australians that have an
eating disorder do not receive
evidence based treatment
1 in 5
Australians over 14 drink
at levels that put them
at risk of alcohol-related
harm over their lifetime
people in Australia
live with depression
That is 1 in 6 women
and 1 in 8 men