Who is the program for? 

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is effective for major depression, mania and some forms of schizophrenia. It is particularly effective for people who are very depressed and who may be suicidal. ECT is often prescribed in the treatment of depression when medications have not worked, or for people who have experienced bad side effects from medications, or whose medical condition prevents them from taking medications safely.

How does it work? 

Typically, treatments are given two to three times a week for three to six weeks, although the exact course of treatment depends on the nature of the illness and the person’s response to treatment. You will be re-assessed by your psychiatrist after every session of ECT and you should see improvements in your symptoms after two sessions.

How will it help me?

ECT may be recommended if symptoms are severe or other forms of treatment are ineffective. For some people, other forms of treatment such as medication and counselling have little or no effect on the symptoms of depression or psychosis. In these cases, ECT seems to be especially helpful, with over 80% of people with depression who receive ECT reporting an improvement in their mood and functionality.

The brain works through complex electrical and chemical processes, and these may be affected by mental illness. ECT works on these processes so that they operate more normally again and symptoms are reduced.

How do I access the program?

ECT is provided for inpatients of the hospital, and is also available for day patients on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

A referral from your GP is required. Either you, or your GP can fax a referral to The Melbourne Clinic’s Intake service for triage. The fax number for intake is (03) 9420 9351  

Please click HERE for further details on the referral process 

More Information

ECT - Information for patients, carers, families and support persons – Click HERE for a brochure


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