It’s January and winter here in Canada. This year has been especially low on sunlight here in Ontario and the winter months can be especially challenging for those who are prone to depression & low mood.
First I’m going to share some profound innovations happening right now that have the potential to transform life for those with treatment resistant depression, OCD and more. Second I’m including a more complementary approach of sound healing by Tom Kenyon. And thirdly I’m including some Resources to connect with in times of crisis or times where you might be heading towards a crisis.
Innovations in Mental Health
The conventional mental health approach to the symptom of suicidality is to have a person admitted to a psychiatric ward at a hospital. Often times individuals won’t meet the criteria for admission and family and friends stay at home and do their best to ensure the person can keep themselves safe. In Canada, money is less of a factor in whether a person decides to go to a hospital, but I’m going to guess that in many countries this is a major factor. Hospital stays are expensive.
When I worked at the local hospital supporting teens with mental health issues, the traditional approach is medication and psychotherapy. Research has generally shown that a combination of both produces the most improvement. But there were always individuals where nothing seemed to help.
It was wildly exciting to learn of a new approach that has improved the life of those with treatment resistant mental health issues into something that can be shifted within ONE DAY.
I started off my year by listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast with Dr. Nolan Williams, an associate professor within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine and director of the Stanford Brain Stimulation Lab. Dr. Williams has been using accelerated Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) with individuals with treatment-resistant depression and their mood shifts within one day.The current side-effects are head-aches for a few days. This isn’t necessarily a forever solution, but the results can last for years.
Currently accelerated TMS is available in Canada and the USA, however it’s not yet offered with Dr. Williams & Stanford’s methodology of giving multiple treatments within one day. The current accelerated TMS is offered over the span of 4-6 weeks. The coverage of cost varies according to province in Canada. Ontario currently does not cover the cost.
If you want to dive deeper into this approach, here are a few resources.
- Accelerated TMS – Moving Quickly into the Future of Depression Treatment
- The Stanford TMS Protocol with Dr. Nolan Williams
Also, if you live in the USA and would like to participate in this type of treatment for free, you can learn more HERE.
Sound Healing for Suicide Prevention
Tom Kenyon, a psychotherapist and sound healer based in Washington, has started to offer some sound healing for suicide prevention for free.
Here’s a quick overview from his website:
“I created this psychoacoustic program back in the late 1980’s as a tool for my psychotherapy clients struggling with low self-esteem, self-sabotage, addictions, and suicide ideation.
For the last 43+ years Freedom To Be/Freedom To Change has been used by therapists and patients all over the world to affect positive change. And the reports from patients and clinicians have been sterling. The program works because it joins together the power of psychoacoustic music to reduce internal stressors and Ericksonian Medical Hypnosis to change deeply set negative thought patters and emotions.”
To learn more: Tom Kenyon Suicide Prevention
Support in Times of Crisis/Heading Towards a Possible Crisis
There are many helplines now available in many areas of the world for those in a crisis and needing some support. A simple google search will connect you to something local in your area.
I’ve often found that many people struggle with identifying what’s a crisis. Let’s be honest, the definition of crisis depends on who you are and what you’ve experienced in your life. So if you’re unsure, just connect to a resource anyways.
- In Hamilton Ontario we have COAST. This link also has resources for kids, college students and more. COAST has the capacity to both offer verbal support and also make visits in the community. Important thing to note: Police are connected with COAST and may get involved if a crisis is deemed an emergency.
- Hope for Wellness specializes in supporting Indigenous people across Canada
- For BIPOC, here are a list of resources mainly in Toronto and also across the province and the Black Youth Helpline
- 2SLGBTQ+ resources include the LGTB Hotline
- 911 & visiting your local emergency room are for those times when someone is at immediate risk of serious harm.
This is a good time of year to actively seek out support if you are prone to low mood and/or depression. What could that look like for you?
Psychotherapy can help you create a plan and offer support during this time. If you already know what you need and just need a nudge in doing it, what might you do for yourself during this time to increase support? Make that plan is a priority for today.
Energy Healing can be a wonderful support to your nervous system and feel like a gift to yourself on a dark & gloomy day. What are some things you can add to your life that feel like a ray of sunshine during this time?