Ground-breaking research is underway at the Epworth Centre for Innovation in Mental Health (ECIMH), and our most recent project focusses on treatment for adolescents with depression.

Although there are established medications and psychotherapy treatments available for depression, many adolescent patients are reluctant to take antidepressant medications.

Led by Professor Paul Fitzgerald, Professor Director of Psychiatry and Head of ECIMH, transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (tACS) a trial for adolescents with depression has been launched featuring a new form of brain stimulation which is non-invasive, personalised and safe.

Some adolescents find coming to hospital for depression too confronting, therefore many are left untreated and have ongoing struggles with their mental health.

An Australian-first, tACS will explore the use of non-invasive brain stimulation at home, reducing the barrier and fear many young people have of going to hospital for treatment. After an initial consultation and training of tACS in hospital, ongoing treatment can be administered in the comfort of their own homes under the guidance of the ECIMH team.

By being at home in a familiar environment, Professor Fitzgerald and his research team hopes that this trial will achieve higher rates of remission in adolescents with depression.