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Orlando VA Program Treats Veterans with Serious Mental Health Disorders

The Orlando VA Healthcare System launched the utilization of Somatic Treatment for Veterans with serious mental health disorders at the Orlando VA Medical Center in Lake Nona, Florida.

The Somatic Treatment program is comprised of three treatment regimens. Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Rtms), and Intranasal Esketamine which are offered to patients who undergo a thorough psychiatric evaluation, and who have received a medical clearance by their provider.

  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT): ECT is available at OVAHCS for inpatients as well as outpatients, and indicated for treatment resistant depression, bipolar mania, schizophrenia not responding to medications
  • Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS): The ideal candidate will have tried at least two antidepressant medications at adequate doses for an optimal duration and have considered ECT.
  • Intranasal Esketamine: Ideal candidates are less than 65 years old who have tried and failed at least four antidepressant medications (adequate doses and duration) with at least two trials augmented with appropriate medications (antipsychotics, second antidepressant, Lithium, T3) has been considered for ECT, has another adult to accompany them during their session, and agrees to stay and be monitored for at least two hours post administration.

“To date, we have treated 15 Veterans with serious mental health disorders who have seen firsthand the positive benefits of the Somatic Treatment Program,” said OVAHCS Psychiatrist, Dr. Roopa Chavda. “We know that this treatment works and are hopeful that Veterans continue to seek out additional ways to overcome their mental health challenges through treatment opportunities like these.”

Veterans interested in the Somatic Treatment program can ask for a referral from their mental health provider. For additional information here in Central Florida, please call: 407-631-4762.

Pictured in photo from left to right: Jonathan Marrero, RN/rTMS Operator; Dawn Mossing, Nurse Manager, Outpatient MH; Dr. Snehal Kadia, MD, Psychiatrist- Somatic Treatment Program; Dr. Roopa Chavda, MD, Psychiatrist/Program Manager, Somatic Treatment Program; Sandra Montanez, RN/ rTMS Operator.

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