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What is next-step treatment?


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With Dr Ted Cassidy  

Psychiatrist and Co-founder


Dr Ted Cassidy is a Psychiatrist and Co-founder of Monarch Mental Health Group. He has been delivering next-step mental health treatment services for over 20 years. In this segment, Dr Cassidy discusses what next-step treatment means in mental health care. 
TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 2 minutes 50 seconds

Hi. My name's Ted Cassidy. I'm a psychiatrist and I'm one of the founders of the Monarch mental health group. So why do we need next-step treatments? I think anyone who has either had issues with depression or anxiety or some of the related conditions themselves or knows a family member that has realises that one of the most frustrating things is the lack of response that people get to treatment.

It's a really big issue and it doesn't affect a small number of people. In reality, if you look at a condition like depression (really common), maybe 30 or 40% of people will get a full recovery. After they take antidepressants and traditional mainstream treatments, another 30-odd per cent will get an improvement. And there's pretty consistently about a third of people that are non-responders, often in that group. The initial approach is to keep on trying more of the same medications, and if you don't respond to one antidepressant as it's a serotonin-increasing drug, it's quite likely that you're going to have a lower response to the next one, which is also a serotonin increasing drug.

What that means is we need to have a range of other options that are not necessarily radically different or even non-traditional, but they just need to be a different mode of action. The most important thing is that if you find yourself as a patient or one of your family members struggling to respond to the first line second line standard medications. Some of the treatment options that our doctors are experts in include things like transcranial magnetic stimulation, and transcranial direct current stimulation. There's a range of next-step medications that are only available in our patient clinic environments, as well as a range of online packages that really help people who struggle with accessibility. 

At Monarch Mental Health Group, our mission is to help more people recover from mental health conditions. There are a number of elements to that, but one of the key elements is actually getting to more people. Accessibility and ease of access and reducing the barriers to referral and getting treatment are absolutely fundamental to our mission. That means having clinics that are available in local communities, it means having online access, it means making it easy, both for patients, consumers, their families and for GPs, to access. All we need is a referral from your general practitioner. And if you're wondering whether you're suitable for treatment, the key people that we can help are people with depression, anxiety or related mental health conditions, (things like post-traumatic stress disorder and OCD).


To discuss whether next-step treatments may be suitable for you, download our referral form and talk to your General Practitioner.

To learn more about our next-step treatment services, click here.


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