New mental health treatment unit opens at UM hospital
Ann Arbor — A mental health treatment unit opening Monday at the University of Michigan Health System will expand the availability of a therapy for people with severe forms of depression and other illnesses.
The University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry’s new $3.6 million site is for electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT. The project converted a 9,500-square-foot area of University Hospital South from unused operating rooms to a suite for the treatment.
“For those who have exhausted other treatment options, and for their families, we’re proud to open this enhanced, expanded facility,” Daniel Maixner, an associate professor of psychiatry at the university’s Medical School and director of the ECT Program.
ECT is the electrical stimulation of the brain delivered under sedation.
The new unit will be able to provide three to four ECT treatments per hour, expanding its current capacity by 50 percent or more, Maixner said. The new unit consolidates services that had been spread between the ninth and first floors of University Hospital.
The program treats adult and teenage patients with treatment-resistant depression, intense mania associated with bipolar disorder, psychosis in psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and those in catatonic states due to mood disorder or psychosis-causing conditions.
It’s one of a few programs offering ECT for adolescents and Maixner said it’s an option for treatment of teens who have “exhausted all other options.”
The program also uses ECT to quell self-injury behaviors in people of any age with severe autism following referral from a psychiatrist.