On the Cutting Edge for a New Advanced Treatment in Mental Health

By Tara Fort

Maybe your neighbor. Maybe your co-worker. Maybe a family member.  Knowing no socioeconomic boundaries, some form of mental illness affects one in five adults who suffer from various mental health disorders. In February, attendees at an Open House hosted by West Yavapai Guidance Clinic (WYGC) witnessed first-hand the demonstration and launch of the Clinic’s newest advanced treatment for major depressive disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), landmarking a breakthrough for this region in the offerings available to both its existing patients and the Yavapai County community. This newest treatment, BrainsWay’s Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulations (dTMS) is FDA approved, and WYGC could not be more pleased to offer this model to all residents of Yavapai County.

The Clinic, which was established in 1966, has remained at the forefront of community offerings by providing high-quality client-centered mental health services to county residents. Their providing of dTMS will expand the outreach of non-invasive therapies, which in turn, decreases or eliminates the need for medications. This treatment surpasses other modalities by its ability to permeate electric waves wider into the scope of the affected area of the brain. Through a padded helmet, the treatment transmits repetitive pulses which stimulates the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Patients who have tried other forms of therapy for depression and OCD find this therapy appealing because of the minimal side effects. Those observing someone who is receiving the treatment say that the patient visibly transforms in affect, posture and alertness, validating the immediate benefits. In most cases, patients report positive changes after the first few sessions.  After the treatment protocol, ideally 36 20-minutes sessions, patients are then monitored and return for a checkup after six months to a year, if necessary. Kelly Legler, Chief Clinical Officer and Hospital Administrator states, “For those suffering from depression who have tried medications that did not offer improvement, let’s work together to find solutions. There is no need to continue to live with your symptoms, especially when we can offer an evidence-based treatment that results in almost-immediate relief.” She adds, “The dTMS process penetrates deeper into the brain, offering more results, in less time.” Medical Director David Wolkoff agrees and states, “This is such a great alternative to medications and it is so effective.”

Although other facilities statewide offer this treatment, WYGC is the first to bring dTMS to Northern Arizona, and the only provider offering dTMS to others in the community outside of its current client base, thereby maintaining its reach to families and children living with mental and behavioral health disorders.

For more information about West Yavapai Guidance Clinic and BrainsWay’s Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulations, as well as other offerings of the Clinic, visit www.wygc.org.