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Dr. Rustom Sethna, Chief of Psychiatry, Markham Stouffville Hospital

Sadly, many people are in a very dark place and reach out to Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH) for help. In fact, 7 million Canadians currently live with a mental health challenge, including many people in our own community.

That’s why it’s so gratifying for me to practice psychiatry here at Markham Stouffville Hospital. I’ve worked at the hospital for 25 years, and I’ve seen the hospital’s commitment to mental health continuously keep pace with the growing need.

Here, at MSH, we understand the link between physical and mental health. We recognize that the key to overall health and well-being is good mental health.

We see examples of this all the time. Many of our patients are also dealing with physical issues that impact their mental health. Undergoing many months of cancer treatment can lead to depression. Chronic heart disease can exacerbate anxiety.

With your generosity, we’re able to provide our patients with the support they need – physically and mentally. And today, I hope you’ll be there for the many people turning to us for mental health services and treatment right now.

The truth is your support is needed now more than ever. The number of people in need of mental health services has jumped significantly since the pandemic started. We’re seeing more depression and anxiety as those in our community grapple with isolation, grief, job loss, economic uncertainty and fear of contracting the virus.

Your gift today will help our patients continue to get the innovative care they need, whether they’re dealing with a mental health crisis, a physical issue, or both.

As I mentioned earlier, MSH has a strong commitment to mental health. It’s a top priority for us as we strive to make the life experience of your family, friends and neighbours the best it can possibly be – even now during the pandemic.

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) therapy

In keeping with that commitment, last year MSH became the first community hospital in Ontario to offer Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) therapy as part of our innovative mental health care.

Not to be confused with Electroconvulsive Therapy, rTMS is a non-invasive, pain-free technique that uses strong, focussed magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the part of the brain that controls mood and emotion.

rTMS is very effective in the treatment of depression which is why we made the decision to bring it here to MSH. After all, our patients deserve to have access to the latest treatment options available when they need them most, close to home.

Today, we need your help to buy a second Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation device to keep up with demand for this cutting-edge treatment.

You see, the volume of patients undergoing rTMS at MSH has recently tripled, with six6 patients receiving it every day and another 25 patients on our waiting list.

As I write this letter, there are many in our community who are not okay. Some are undergoing cancer treatment while others are recovering from a stroke or heart attack. There are also a lot of people right now struggling with mental illness.

Your gift today will enable us to be there for them all with leading-edge equipment, the latest programs and treatments and expert care. It will ensure MSH can continue to go that extra mile to give our patients every chance to be okay.


Dr. Rustom Sethna

Chief of Psychiatry, Markham Stouffville Hospital

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