Mental Health Week: Cairns Clinic turns 10

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Hollywood portrayals of mental health hospitals can be scary – but in reality, people should not be afraid to seek the help they need.

That’s the message from experts at The Cairns Clinic, which is celebrating its 10th year of helping Far North Queenslanders struggling with mental health issues.

“The Cairns Clinic is excited to have reached such a milestone and we look forward to continuing our mental health support to the community,” CEO Ben Tooth said, as the centre also marks Mental Health Week 2020 (Saturday 10 October-Sunday 18 October in Queensland). 

While movies such as ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ infamously depicted patients held involuntarily in locked rooms, and subjected to shock treatment, this is far from the experience in modern private mental health clinics.

Instead patients will find soothing environments, with holistic programs designed to treat a range of disorders.

With one-in-six Queenslanders battling debilitating issues such as anxiety and depression, the Cairns Clinic offers much-needed private services otherwise not available north of Townsville.

“We have a full range of psychiatrists and psychologists plus some extra activities such as art classes, meditation and yoga that can really help people struggling with their mental health,” psychiatrist Dr Alice Chang said.

The clinic also provides a new type of treatment called Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, she said.

“This is a really gentle, non-invasive treatment using magnets to stimulate parts of the brain that have been inactive in patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression and anxiety,” Dr Chang explained. 

The Cairns Clinic opened in 2010 as a fully accredited mental health hospital from a converted resort in the city’s CBD. 

It is now one of 23 mental health units run by Ramsay Health Care Australia, providing 30 inpatient beds plus a variety of outpatient and group-based therapy programs.

People seeking mental health help can see psychiatrists at the clinic with a referral from their general practitioner or other medical specialist.

Read more: Finalists named for top mental health award

Read more: $8m boost for regional mental health

Read more: Improving access to care – Cairns Private Hospital

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