Our founders pioneered TMS in Australia
The creative spark for the Monarch Mental Health Group (formerly TMS Clinics Australia) came from a conversation between Professor Paul Fitzgerald and Dr Ted Cassidy.
The problem they recognised was that patients with depression frequently do not respond to treatment with antidepressant medication. This would leave patients and their families struggling with the effects of depression for years.
Ted experienced first-hand the daily frustration of lacking effective treatments for his patients. It upset him that over time patients and their carers would lose hope of ever having a full recovery.
Paul was frustrated that outpatient TMS treatment was not being used extensively as a safe and effective treatment for depression as it was internationally. Paul had a sense of urgency that Australia needed a TMS centre of excellence that provided standardised treatment nationally whilst offering patients the option of being treated close to home.
Paul and Ted’s conversation was a meeting of the minds, joining ideas of new effective technologies and a comprehensive service network that wrapped innovative, gold-standard technology and protocols in a commitment to old-fashioned care.
From this conversation TMS Australia, and now the Monarch Mental Health Group was born.
Dr Ted Cassidy
Psychiatrist and Founder of Monarch Mental Health Group
Dr Ted Cassidy is a Founder and Executive Chair of the Monarch Mental Health Group. He is responsible for the operations, management and service delivery via the group's network of outpatient clinics.
Dr Cassidy is a qualified psychiatrist and medical graduate from University of Sydney.
Dr Cassidy has worked extensively since 2014 in the field of developing outpatient TMS treatment clinics for patients with chronic depression and other mental conditions. He has been TMS credentialed through the extensive training with Professor Fitzgerald and the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre TMS training program.
Dr Cassidy has extensive experience as a Psychiatrist and his interest in innovative, drug-free treatments for patients who do not respond to depression medication. These patients often fail 2 or more depression medications prior to their TMS treatment.
Dr Cassidy wants to assist patients gain access fast and convenient access to mental health programs and clinicians throughout Australia.
Dr Cassidy previously founded and owned The Hills Clinic group and hospital, the first purpose built private mental health hospital in Australia. From 2004 to 2017 he was the Medical Director, during this time more than 10,000 patients with Mental Illness were assisted in the Northwest of Sydney.
Professor Paul Fitzgerald
Director of Monarch Research Institute and Co-founder of the Monarch Mental Health Group
Professor Paul Fitzgerald is Co-founder of Monarch Mental Health Group and Director of Monarch Research Institute. Professor Fitzgerald is an internationally recognised expert in novel treatments for mental health conditions, especially the use of TMS in depression. Professor Fitzgerald is a qualified psychiatrist and has a Master of Psychological Medicine and a research PhD. He currently is the Director of the School of Medicine and Psychology at the Australian National University.
Professor Paul Fitzgerald is a Founder of Monarch Mental Health Group. He is responsible for the safety and treatment protocols across the group's clinics.
Professor Fitzgerald has conducted an extensive range of research studies and clinical trials, focused on the development of novel treatments for patients with depression, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism and Alzheimer’s disease. His research has had a particular focus on the development of forms of non-invasive brain stimulation, with a special interest in repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). He has conducted over 20 substantive clinical trials contributing substantially to the development of TMS as a therapy for patients with depression. He has also conducted pioneering clinical trials of TMS in other treatments in other conditions such as schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and PTSD.
Prof Fitzgerald’s research has had continual support from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia for 20 years. He has published over 500 journal articles, with the majority of these describing research focused on the development of new treatments such as TMS. He co-authored the first book published as a clinical guide to the use of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation as a treatment for depression. He also led a national application to the Medicare Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) in the Federal Department of Health which resulted, in 2021, in Medicare funding ($280 million in year 1) for TMS therapy for patients with depression. Click here to read more about the history of TMS in Australia.