Streamlining Care for Treatment Resistant Depression

physician gives patient treatment using medical equipment

A team of physicians and psychiatrists at St. Joseph’s is ready to transform how Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD) is diagnosed, ensuring patients receive the best possible care and recover faster.

St. Joseph’s offers several treatments for TRD, including medication, talk therapy, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). The tools are here – they just need to be matched to the right person at the right time.

With this new approach to TRD, St. Joseph’s would be the first specialized facility in Canada to comprehensively assess and measure TRD – allowing the team of mental health specialists to  incorporate new research studies and treatments to enhance recovery for people living with TRD.

But we can’t move forward without your help.

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What is Treatment Resistant Depression?

Depression can be diagnosed easily, but there are many different symptoms and sub-types, making it difficult to prescribe a “one-size-fits-all” treatment.

Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD) is a sub-type that is only diagnosed after multiple treatment attempts have failed – a process that is costly for our health care system and that can leave patients feeling hopeless.

At Parkwood Institute’s Mental Health Care Building, psychiatrists estimate that over 75% of patients have TRD.

A new approach to match patients and care

St. Joseph's has created a new assessment model for diagnosing and treating people who live with severe depression.

This team has identified several variables that contribute to the development of TRD. Based on those criteria, around 300 patients per year will be referred to the TRD clinic.

While caring for these patients, the team will focus on:

  • Improving data collection – To enhance clinicians’ understanding of what it means to have TRD.
  • Grading the severity of TRD – To define different degrees of ‘resistance’ and identify a likely effective treatment.
  • Creating a predictive tool for diagnosis – To asses someone’s likelihood of having TRD before treatments have failed, saving the health care system time and money, and helping people get better sooner. 

We need your support

The TRD clinic is ready to launch this much-needed initiative, but we cannot begin until funding is completed. We need your support to drive this system change and analyze the data.

The sooner we can begin, the sooner we can improve care for 300 patients per year, and ensure that our mental health care system is better-equipped to diagnose and treat people suffering from TRD.

Funding need: $89,377

“St. Joseph’s has shown innovation in developing treatment tools for TRD, including complex pharmacology, psychosocial interventions, TMS and ECT. But, we can’t provide excellence in recovery for patients with TRD without timely diagnosis."

Dr. Amer Burhan
Geriatric Neuropsychiatrist
Clinical Lead TMS and ECT
Mental Health Care

  • Your Donation Matters Here

    A team of physicians and psychiatrists at St. Joseph’s is ready to transform how Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD) is diagnosed, ensuring patients receive the best possible care and recover faster.

    Dr. Amer Burhan