PEOPLE with mental health illnesses will benefit from a new centre launched by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

The Neuromodulation Centre includes existing services and a new 'Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy service' (rTMS).

This offers a different treatment for depression, with quick recovery and no need for anaesthetic.

The treatment is given to people who suffer from severe depression who have not responded to antidepressants or psychological therapy.

It stimulates the brain and causes neuroplasticity – which is the brain’s ability to mend and build connections between the nerve cells.

Patients can expect a non-invasive procedure when being treated as an outpatient.

Karen Osola, service lead for Southern Health said: "This new service is allowing us to be leaders in this field. We are one of a handful of trusts nationwide which are delivering this treatment within the NHS, the first in the South.

"We hope this will transform how people with severe depression are treated in the future."

The rTMS service was introduced earlier than planned due to the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing the service to be available to those struggling with their severe mental health issues during lockdown.

Since the launch, 20 patients have received treatment with one commenting: “I have nothing but praise for the whole unit and am so pleased I was referred by my consultant psychiatrist."

Another patient said: “When the time comes and I’m really struggling, I’ll at least know there is something that works for me.”