Electroconvulsive Therapy is already offered at Hackensack Meridian’s Carrier Clinic and Jersey Shore University Medical Center
(Perth Amboy, NJ – July 19, 2023) – Hackensack Meridian Carrier Behavioral Health is expanding its reach by offering Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) at Raritan Bay Medical Center, located in Perth Amboy, NJ. This is part of Hackensack Meridian Health’s $30 million investment to expand Behavioral Health services at Raritan Bay Medical Center.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is a biological treatment for psychiatric disorders, done under anesthesia, that involves a small electric current that is passed through the patient’s brain via electrodes to generate a convulsion or seizure. It has proven to be a safe and effective treatment for a variety of psychiatric disorders, especially for major depressive disorder and treatment-resistant depression, catatonia, mania and other serious mental illnesses.
For more than fifty years, Carrier Clinic, a Somerset County-based medical campus dedicated to behavioral health and addiction treatment, has been providing ECT. As one of the largest and most experienced providers of ECT in the state, Carrier Clinic administers more than 4,000 inpatient and outpatient ECT treatments annually. Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune provides more than 1,000 treatments each year. The expansion will bring access to ECT to patients in New Jersey’s Middlesex County.
“There is a lot of misperception and misinformation about ECT,” said Arunesh K. Mishra, MD, central region chair of psychiatry, Hackensack Meridian Health, who treats behavioral health conditions and has used ECT therapy as a treatment option. “It is an option for people with severe depression and other psychiatric disorders that have not been satisfactorily treated by other therapies.”
Clinical studies have shown ECT to be highly effective in depression, and it has a good response rate in treatment-resistant depression that has failed to respond to at least 3 medications. The response rate is faster compared to medications, and it has minimum side effects, such as headache, compared to oral therapies. ECT can be done as an inpatient or outpatient treatment.
“Disorders of the brain are biologically based, and there should be no shame or stigma in seeking and receiving appropriate treatment for these conditions,” said Dr. Mishra. “As a society, it is important to move away from the highly sensationalized images of ECT that were portrayed in films or media, as they stigmatize this scientifically proven treatment and overlook its potential effectiveness to relieve the symptoms and suffering associated with serious mental illness.”
“While the exact mechanism of action in ECT is not fully known, we believe ECT causes changes in the chemical messengers in the brain known as neurotransmitters,” added Dr. Mishra. “It’s also theorized that ECT may influence regulation of stress hormones, affecting mood, sleep, appetite and energy, which are often disturbed in mental illness.”
“The addition of our new ECT service at Carrier Behavioral Health at Raritan Bay Medical Center further establishes our philosophy of care, where specialized units are vital to providing the best care to each patient in the most appropriate and supportive setting,” said Patricia Carroll, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive, Raritan Bay Medical Center. “This addition represents another example of our commitment to deliver exceptional standards of care, service and patient experience that have defined Carrier Clinic’s 100+ year tradition and national recognition for excellence in behavioral health care.”
Carrier Behavioral Health at Raritan Bay Medical Center is a regional hub of the nationally recognized Hackensack Meridian Carrier Clinic. The Behavioral Health program at Raritan Bay Medical Center is the first in the Hackensack Meridian Health network to receive the Carrier Behavioral Health designation. The Medical Center’s behavioral health services include individualized programs and units for adults, older adults, and those needing care for both mental health and substance use disorder diagnoses (referred to as dual-diagnoses). The full $30 million Behavioral Health expansion is expected to open in the fall of 2023.
About Hackensack Meridian Raritan Bay Medical Center and Old Bridge Medical Center:
For more than 100 years, Hackensack Meridian Raritan Bay Medical Center and Old Bridge Medical Center have provided a full continuum of health care services to residents of Central Jersey. Raritan Bay Medical Center is one of less than one percent of hospitals in the world to achieve Magnet Recognition, the “Gold Standard” for nursing practice, quality, and safety in patient care, four times. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked Raritan Bay Medical Center as high performing in Orthopedics, Nephrology, COPD and Heart Failure.
The medical center is a New Jersey state designated Primary Stroke Center and recipient of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, recognizing optimal treatment of stroke patients. Raritan Bay is also a recipient of the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and the AHA’s Heart Check Mark for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers and the AHA’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award recognizing high-quality care of patients experiencing a severe heart attack.
For more information, visit www.rbmc.org.
SOURCE; Hackensack Meridian Raritan Bay Medical Center