Michigan Advanced Psychiatry, a mental health clinic on North Main Street, announced that it is now offering BrainsWay’s Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to treat major depressive disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The clinic, founded by psychiatrist Andrew Schmale, is now open, providing Deep TMS as well as Ketamine treatments and evaluation and medication management services. 

Schmale specializes in evidence-based approaches and medication management for mental health patients. In an email to The Michigan Daily, Schmale stated that though therapy and medication work for some people, others see no improvement from these conventional treatments.

“I am driven to help these people find wellness with treatments at the forefront of psychiatry,” Schmale wrote. “Psychiatry is one of the last frontiers of medicine and we are continuously seeing the field grow.”

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, it is estimated about 17.3 million American adults suffer from MDD, but nearly 40% of these people may not receive standard treatment options. About 1 in 40 Americans over the age of 18 are affected by OCD, with the success rate of drug therapy ranging from 40 to 60%. 

BrainsWay is a global medical technology company dedicated to advancing modern mental health treatment for patients by using noninvasive neurostimulation techniques. The organization has been using Deep TMS, which uses magnetic waves to target areas of the brain, to treat depression since 2013 and received FDA clearance to treat OCD in 2018.

Magnetic waves are administered to deep structures of the brain for 20 minutes via a cushioned helmet. Using a high powered-magnet, electrical currents are stimulated in areas of the brain that are associated with mood and anxiety disorders. These magnetic fields allow physicians to stabilize and regulate patient neural activity. 

According to Schmale, unlike most antidepressants, the side effects of Deep TMS are minimal and patients can return to normal activities immediately after treatment. According to a six-week study on noninvasive brain stimulation, TMS led to a “clinically significant reduction” in symptoms for two-thirds of patients diagnosed with OCD. Higher response rates for Deep TMS can be explained by deeper and broader penetration into the brain than traditional TMS. 

Schmale said increased mental health issues due to COVID-19 have tripled depression rates among adults in the U.S. as well as escalated anxiety, substance abuse and suicide cases. Because of this, Schmale said introducing Deep TMS to Ann Arbor is especially crucial during this time.

“The team at Michigan Advanced Psychiatry believes it is critical, due to the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on mental health, specifically around depression and OCD, that we are investing in clinically proven treatments like Deep TMS to better serve our local community in the Ann Arbor area,” Schmale wrote.

Business alum Dane Reinhart worked with Schmale to found Steps Wellness, a company dedicated to providing resources and addressing stigmas related to mental wellness for college students. Reinhart said not being able to find someone to speak to about mental health concerns during his undergraduate years inspired him to address these issues on college campuses. 

“Steps is a form of my self-expression,” Reinhart said. “For the time being, we’re focusing our care solely on college students, as that is where we see the biggest gap in quality and access to care.” 

Reinhart said the ultimate goal of Steps Wellness is to eliminate wait times for students who are seeking help and to provide immediate, consistent care. 

“We take a three-step approach,” Reinhart said. “With these three steps — connect, sustain and unite — we believe we can help guide students in the direction in their journey and allow them to thrive throughout their time at school and beyond.” 

While the University of Michigan’s Counseling and Psychological Services offers free consultations for all students, many have said the program is overburdened and has long wait times for appointments. In June, CAPS launched a new platform called SilverCloud to provide online mental health resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

LSA sophomore Ayush Trivedi said reducing wait times and introducing new mental health treatments will create a more positive and happy campus environment. 

“I think it’s beneficial because it gives students another avenue to treat mental health disorders,” Trivedi said. “I think it’ll honestly overall improve the campus atmosphere and lifestyle.”

Daily Staff Reporter Meghana Lodhavia can be reached at mlod@umich.edu.

Correction: A previous version of this story said the clinic would open in a month. It is currently open. Dane Reinhart is a cofounder of Steps Wellness, not Michigan Advanced Pyschiatry.

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