Bell Let’s Talk today announced a donation of $420,000 to William Osler Health System (Osler) to support a new repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) Clinic at Osler’s Brampton Civic Hospital.
The clinic is part of Osler’s innovative Stepped Care Program that provides leading-edge, high-intensity treatment for patients with mental illness.
“Bell Let’s Talk is proud to support improved access to the latest innovations in mental health care through Osler’s Stepped Care Program at Brampton Civic Hospital,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “The addition of an rTMS clinic to the program will make a real difference in the lives of people in Brampton and the surrounding area who are living with mental illnesses.”
rTMS is an innovative treatment for people with major depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for whom medication may not be effective or an option. The safe, non-invasive treatments use a magnetic field to stimulate nerve cells in the brain that are involved in controlling emotions. With repeated treatments, the magnetic pulses impact how the brain is working, to ease depression symptoms and improve mood, with little or no discomfort. With the Bell Let’s Talk donation, Osler will be able to acquire and install a full rTMS suite, while an additional donation of $50,000 from Osler’s team of psychiatrists themselves will double the number of patients that can be treated at any one time.
“Osler’s Mental Health and Addictions Department receives about 1,400 outpatient referrals each month, and 70% of these are for depression treatment,” said Kiki Ferrari, Executive Vice President, Clinical Operations, William Osler Health System. “Thanks to this donation from Bell Let’s Talk, Osler has become one of Ontario’s first community hospitals to offer rTMS treatment, providing an innovative option for the growing number of patients who will benefit from additional treatment and support through their mental health journey.”
Osler has one of the largest Mental Health and Addictions community hospital programs in the province, consisting of emergency, inpatient and outpatient services across its three sites. Osler’s Brampton Civic Hospital and Etobicoke General Hospital emergency departments see the largest number of patients with mental health and addictions illness in Ontario.
“The rTMS treatment is invaluable, particularly for patients who have treatment resistant depression and those who do not tolerate medications due to their side effects,” said Dr. Razi Sayeed, Corporate Chief of Psychiatry and Medical Director, William Osler Health System. “This incredible gift will have an immediate and direct impact on our patients and we are grateful for the support, which allows us to reach more people with innovative care.”
In 2019, Osler’s Mental Health and Addictions Program implemented an innovative model of care – the Stepped Care Program – to simplify the way people access mental health and addictions outpatient services and help them connect with the right treatment options. Through the program’s four-step approach, patients’ needs are matched with the level of service they receive, reserving the most intense, resource-rich services for patients with the most complex needs. The program has successfully doubled Osler’s outpatient programming and intervention services, all without changes to staffing, space or resources.
“This donation from Bell Let’s Talk provides leading edge treatment for mental health patients in our community – particularly those who currently must travel to downtown Toronto for treatment,” said Ken Mayhew, President and CEO, Osler Foundation. “We are also grateful that Dr. Razi Sayeed and his team of psychiatrists have stepped up and provided their own donations to purchase a second rTMS machine – doubling capacity for patients to receive state-of-the-art mental health care close to home.”
Bell Let’s Talk Day is January 29
Osler joins Bell in inviting everyone to take part in the mental health conversation on Bell Let’s Talk Day. Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of these communications on January 29, at no extra cost to participants beyond what they would normally pay their service providers for online or phone access:
• Talk: Every mobile and every long distance call made by Bell wireless and phone customers
• Text: Every text message sent by Bell wireless customers
• Twitter: Every tweet and retweet using #BellLetsTalk, featuring the special Bell Let’s Talk emoji, and every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at Twitter.com/Bell_LetsTalk
• Facebook: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk frame
• Instagram: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at Instagram.com/Bell_LetsTalk
• Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk filter and every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view
• YouTube: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at YouTube.com/BellCanada
About Bell Let’s Talk
The Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative is focused on four key action pillars: Anti-stigma, Care and Access, Research and Workplace Leadership. Since its launch in September 2010, Bell Let’s Talk has partnered with more than 1,000 organizations providing mental health services throughout Canada, including hospitals, universities and other care and research organizations. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
Photo (l-r): Kiki Ferrari, Executive Vice-President, Clinical Operations, Osler; Dr. Razi Sayeed, Corporate Chief of Psychiatry and Medical Director, Osler; Shelley Hofer, repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) patient, Dr. Prakash Babani, Adult and Geriatric Psychiatrist, Osler; Mary Deacon, Chair, Bell Let’s Talk; and Ken Mayhew, President and CEO, Osler Foundation.