The Interventional Psychiatry Program at St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto is a clinical and academic program that uses innovative research and knowledge translation to provide the best possible treatment and care for people with treatment-resistant mental health conditions. Our research program is based on the fundamental belief that interdisciplinary approaches are needed to get a deeper insight into the human mind. We conceptualize novel and proof-of-concept clinical trials as a platform to probe the human brain with interdisciplinary perspectives, where our projects lie at the intersection of medicine, biomedical engineering, psychology, ethics, social sciences, and knowledge translation. Our clinical programs offer new emerging treatments, which also serve as research platforms to understand the human brain in illness and wellness. Together, our clinical and research work is driven by the overarching aim to make a difference in the lives of our patients with treatment-resistant mental health conditions.
The program facilitates the efficiency and growth of new treatment options for treatment-resistant mental health conditions, with 3 interventional pillars:
1. Psychopharmacology (e.g., Intravenous Ketamine, Nitrous Oxide).
2. Neurostimulation (e.g., Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Electroconvulsive Therapy, Functional Electrical Stimulation, Temporal Interference Stimulation).
3. Digital therapeutics (e.g., Wearable Devices, Digital Symptom Monitoring, Virtual Reality).
Within the program, we collaborate closely with the disciplines of biomedical engineering, anesthesia, neuroimaging, informatics, neurology, and neurosurgery. It aims to identify and understand risks and treatment responses with these emerging procedures. By integrating research with education and knowledge translation, we strive to create a stronger investment in mental healthcare and ultimately improve health policy and clinical practice.