Since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of people showing symptoms and seeking help for depression has skyrocketed. A recent study found that 4 out of 10 adults have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, a four-fold increase from pre-COVID life. Kaiser Family Foundation analyzed the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey andfound the prevalence of mental illness in Washington increased significantly in the last year. In an effort to provide additional treatment options to address this growing crisis, Active Path, an Oregon-based mental health clinic specializing in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to treat depression, is opening its sixth location in Vancouver in May 2021.
Active Path is currently accepting patients for its new clinic located in the Columbia Tech Center. The clinic will provide people struggling from severe depression who haven’t responded to medication or talk therapy, with a valuable option for managing their mental health. TMS can reduce symptoms of depression or bring it under control with minimal side effects. It is an FDA-cleared treatment covered by most commercial insurance plans, Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, and Tri-Care/Tri-West.
While a provider referral for services is not required, the clinics work with providers to design treatment plans and confirm insurance coverage for the procedures.
TMS uses a highly focused, pulsed magnetic field (similar to an MRI) to target the brain regions involved in regulating mood. Each treatment is approximately 20 minutes, five days a week for 6 weeks. While antidepressant medications may affect sleep or cognition, TMS causes minimal side effects in a small percentage of patients. The therapy is administered on an outpatient basis so that patients can resume their normal activities immediately following treatment.
Based on an internal review of patient outcomes, 79% of Active Path patients have shown a measurable decrease in depression symptoms. These results are reported on the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9, a commonly used depression scale), and one-third achieve control of their depression and are free from symptoms. These numbers echo more rigorous national studies conducted in clinical settings.
For more information on the Vancouver location, click here.
To learn more about TMS, click here.