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 What We Do

The Poul Hansen Family Centre for Depression is UHN's clinic specializing in depression and mood disorders treatment. Our aim is for those with depression or mood disorders to be treated directly within the walls of the Centre, to ensure patients are not required to travel elsewhere in the hospital or to our other sites for their depression appointments or services. Our team will help guide you from the moment you step through our doors to ensure you receive​ the support you need throughout your journey.

The overall goal of our Centre is to provide you with care, as soon as you need it.​

 Materials and Resources to Help You

Resources from the Patient & Family Education Program PDF Icon

* These material(s) are also available in other languages.

Service Navigation

Crisis Resources

Interpretation and Multilingual Services

Free Walk-in Counselling

Self-Guided Mental Health Resources

  • BounceBack Ontario
    Receive free workbooks on specific mental health issues (e.g., anxiety, depression) and receive telephone coaching.
  • Togetherall
    Free guided skill-building courses and online anonymous peer support.
  • Mind Over Mood by Greenberger & Padesky
    CBT workbook.
  • Full Catastrophe Living by Kabat-Zinn & Nhat Hanh
    Mindfulness meditation.
  • Smartphone Applications (may have costs associated)
    Headspace; Simple Habit; Calm; What's Up; Self-Help Anxiety Management; Mindshift; PTSD Coach Canada.

Ongoing OHIP-covered or Free Individual or Group Psychotherapy

Private Therapy

  • Have private insurance or workplace benefits? Check to see if you have coverage for psychotherapy (coverage to meet with a social worker, psychotherapist, psychologist, or mental health counsellor).
  • Check if your workplace has an Employment Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Some ways to find private practitioners:
    Greenspace
    Psychology Today
    Psychotherapy Matters

 Meet Our Team

Dr. Susan Abbey  
Dr. Susan Abbey, Psychiatrist-in-Chief
Dr. Susan Abbey is the Psychiatrist-in-Chief at UHN and a Professor at the University of Toronto's Department of Psychiatry. A member of the Department of Psychiatry since 1991, she has received numerous academic awards and honours, including the Robin Hunter Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Psychiatric Education and the Prix d'Excellence from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. She has been the President of the Canadian Psychiatric Association.
Dr. Abbey's research and clinical interests relate to the psychiatric care of patients in medical and surgical settings, and the use of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in the management of medical illness. She was an early adopter of Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depression (IPT), and has taught IPT to international audiences. She has been teaching MSBR since 2000 and is part of a research group studying the role of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) in preventing depressive relapse following rTMS treatment.

Marla Kaye  
Marla Kaye, Senior Clinical Manager
Marla Kaye is the Senior Clinical Manager at the Centre for Mental Health leading a portfolio of interdisciplinary outpatient mental health clinics and community programs. She is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and a member of the Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals. She has 30 years of experience in the mental health field. Before joining UHN in 2018, Marla was a Program Manager of Counselling Services at the Canadian Hearing Society and had a successful private practice in Toronto.
She has presented twice at the national conference for the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association on the topics of Making Your Services Accessible to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Clients and Burnout Prevention and Care: Increasing Clinical Resiliencies Through Mindfulness Compassion Practices. Marla is co-chair of the Acute Care Programs Leadership Forum at UHN. A champion of patient-centred care, she is committed to supporting staff in delivering accessible quality service and treatment.

Dr. Daphne Voineskos  
Dr. Daphne Voineskos, Scientific Director and Medical Lead
Dr. Daphne Voineskos is the Scientific Director and Medical Lead of the rTMS Clinic and is a psychiatrist in the Poul Hansen Family Centre for Depression at UHN. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and also works as a Clinician Scientist at the Temerty Centre for Therapeutic Brain Intervention at CAMH. She completed medical training at the University of Nottingham, England, followed by specialty training in psychiatry at the University of Toronto. As Dr. Voineskos has a long-standing dedication to research, she pursued a PhD through the Institute of Medical Science and Clinician Investigator program at the University of Toronto. After a maternity leave, she completed her PhD in September 2019. Following psychiatric residency training, and during her PhD, she undertook a research training fellowship at the Temerty Centre for Therapeutic Brain Intervention. Dr. Voineskos' scientific impact is advancing and personalizing investigational and therapeutic brain stimulation techniques in treatment-refractory psychiatric disorders.
Dr. Voineskos has recently been named the Labatt Family Professor in Depression Biology at the University of Toronto. Her early international reputation for her research and scientific potential has been recognized locally, by the Department of Psychiatry, provincially by the prestigious John C. Polanyi Prize in Physiology/Medicine and internationally by the American Psychiatric Association. She is the principal investigator or co-investigator on multiple federally and philanthropically funded studies to optimize and personalize brain stimulation delivery and is a committed mentor and supervisor to graduate students and medical trainees. Dr. Voineskos' research program is focused on the neurobiological mechanisms and abnormalities in depression, with the translational goal of integrating these scientific findings into clinical care.

Operations Lead

  • Annie Fernandes

Administrative Assistants


Sophie Klein

Sophie Klein

Amber Marsman

Amber Marsman

Sunny Hong

Sunny Hong (Physician Admin)


Staff Physicians

Dr. Venkat Bhat  
Dr. Venkat Bhat, MD, MSc, FRCPC, DABPN
Dr. Venkat Bhat is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and Director of the Interventional Psychiatry Program at St. Michael's Hospital. At the University Health Network, he leads depression and mental health research initiatives within the Centre for Advancing Neurotechnological Innovation to Application (CRANIA) and holds research appointments within the KITE and Krembil Research Institutes to advance this work. At the Toronto Western Hospital and the Poul Hansen Family Centre for Depression, he has a focus on invasive neurostimulation and works with specific neurology/neurosurgery programs interfacing with neuropsychiatry: he oversees assessment, device programming and research initiatives for patients undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation for psychiatric indications, and the cohort undergoing invasive brain monitoring and neurosurgical intervention for Epilepsy. Dr. Bhat deeply believes that interdisciplinary approaches are needed to get deeper insights into the human mind, his research program is supported by the major funding bodies both in Canada and the US.
Dr. Bhat completed residency and graduate training in psychiatry at McGill University followed by fellowship training in various Interventional Psychiatry domains at the University of Toronto, Harvard and Duke Universities respectively.

Dr. Sidney Kennedy  
Dr. Sidney Kennedy, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Sidney H. Kennedy is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, a Senior Scientist at the Krembil Research Institute and a Member of the Poul Hansen Family Centre for Depression.
He has published more than 500 peer-reviewed publications and 11 books on depression and related topics, including antidepressant drug mechanisms and clinical efficacy, neuroimaging as a tool to predict treatment response and neurostimulation therapies.
Dr. Kennedy is the founding chair of the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments and co-lead in Guidelines for Major Depressive Disorder. He is also the founding lead investigator of the Canadian Biomarker Network in Depression (CAN-BIND) and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Science and the Royal Society of Canada.

Dr. Rodrigo Mansur  
Dr. Rodrigo Mansur, MD, PhD
Dr. Mansur is a staff psychiatrist at the University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Dr. Mansur completed his medical degree at the Universidade Federal de São Paulo/Escola Paulista de Medicina (UNIFESP/EPM), Brazil. He received his Psychiatry residency training and PhD at UNIFESP/EPM; and Fellowship training in Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Dr. Mansur's primary clinical and research efforts focus on the intersection between metabolic and mood disorders, specifically the epidemiological, phenomenological and mechanistic aspects of these frequently co-occurring conditions. His interests include identifying novel biological mechanisms and developing integrated, empirically supported preventive and therapeutic strategies. Dr. Mansur has authored multiple peer-reviewed scientific articles and in 2016 received the Gerald L. Klerman Young Investigator Award of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA).

Dr. Roger McIntyre  
Dr. Roger McIntyre, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Roger McIntyre is a Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of Toronto and Head of the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit at the University Health Network.
He is also Executive Director of the Brain and Cognition Discovery Foundation in Toronto, Director and co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) in Chicago, Illinois, Professor and Nanshan Scholar at Guangzhou Medical University, Adjunct Professor College of Medicine at Korea University, Clinical Professor State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York and Clinical Professor Department of Psychiatry and Neurosciences University of California School of Medicine, Riverside, California. Dr. McIntyre is the founder of the Canadian Rapid Treatment Centre of Excellence (CRTCE) and the CEO of Braxia Scientific Corp.
Dr. McIntyre has annually been named by Clarivate Analytics/Thomson Reuters as one of "The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds" since 2014. This distinction is given by publishing the largest number of articles that rank among those most frequently cited by researchers globally in 21 broad fields of science and social science during the previous decade. Dr. McIntyre has published more than 750 articles/manuscripts and has edited and/or co-edited several textbooks on mood disorders.
Dr. McIntyre is involved in multiple research endeavours which primarily aim to characterize the phenomenology, neurobiology and novel therapeutics of mood disorders. He has been especially interested in identifying innovative, rapid-acting psychotropic treatments for mood disorders. Dr. McIntyre's research has also extended into public health and implementation research at the population-based level.
Dr. McIntyre is extensively involved in medical education. He is a highly sought-after speaker at both national and international meetings. He has received several teaching awards from the University of Toronto, Department of Psychiatry and has been a recipient of the joint Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) / Council of Psychiatric Continuing Education Award for the Most Outstanding Continuing Education Activity in Psychiatry in Canada.
Dr. McIntyre has also contributed extensively to clinical practice guidelines. For example, he is the lead author of the Florida Best Practice Psychotherapeutic Medication Guidelines for Adults with Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder as well as the International Expert Opinion on the Available Evidence and Implementation of Ketamine and Esketamine in Mood Disorders. Dr. McIntyre is also a contributor to the CANMAT guidelines for the treatment of Depressive Disorders and Bipolar Disorders as well as the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Clinical Practice Guidelines for Mood Disorders.
Dr. McIntyre completed his medical degree at Dalhousie University. He received his Psychiatry residency training and Fellowship in Psychiatric Pharmacology at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Joshua Rosenblat  
Dr. Joshua Rosenblat, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Dr. Joshua Rosenblat is a staff psychiatrist and clinician-researcher at the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit (MDPU) within the Poul Hansen Family Centre for Depression at Toronto Western Hospital. His clinical and research focus is treatment-resistant unipolar and bipolar depression. He has authored and co-authored over a hundred journal articles and textbook chapters and received numerous local, national and international grants and awards. Dr. Rosenblat studied medicine at the University of Western Ontario and then completed his residency training in Psychiatry and graduate training in Pharmacology at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Rickinder Sethi  
Dr. Rickinder Sethi, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Rickinder Sethi is a staff psychiatrist at UHN. He also provides psychiatric care in under-serviced clinics within Ontario. He completed his medical degree at the Medical University of the Americas in the West Indies and completed his residency training in the Department of Psychiatry at Western University. After residency, Dr. Sethi completed a fellowship in Psycho-Oncology and end-of-life care at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto. He has a clinical interest in novel approaches to treatment-resistant depression, including rTMS, ketamine and psilocybin.

Dr. Gerasimos Konstantinou  
Dr. Gerasimos Konstantinou, MD, MSc
Dr. Gerasimos Konstantinou is a staff psychiatrist at UHN and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He completed his medical degree at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece followed by specialty training in the Department of Psychiatry at National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. After residency, Dr. Konstantinou completed a clinical and research fellowship in Brain Stimulation at the Temerty Centre for Therapeutic Brian Intervention at CAMH. Dr. Konstantinou has authored and co-authored multiple peer-reviewed scientific articles and in 2020 received the Best Accomplishment by a Fellow Award by the University of Toronto, Department of Psychiatry. He has a clinical interest in psychopathology, brain stimulation and psychoimmunology with a focus on novel biological mechanisms and therapeutic interventions.

Mental Health Clinicians

Hannah Albrechtsons
Hannah Albrechtsons
Hannah is a registered occupational therapist who received her Master of Occupational Therapy degree from the University of Toronto. Hannah is passionate about supporting patients who are experiencing mental illness to achieve their goals, learn coping skills and strengthen their resilience. She is skilled in using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness-based treatment interventions. Hannah provides support to patients by offering short-term individual counselling sessions and co-facilitating psychotherapy groups run through the Poul Hansen Family Centre for Depression.

Cristina Barrios
Cristina Barrios
Cristina is a bilingual registered social worker (English & Spanish) who completed her Master of Social Work at the University of Toronto. She has experience working in mental health and addictions with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. She is passionate about providing patient-centred care and empowering patients to develop skills to cope with their mental health concerns and stressors. Cristina's therapeutic approach draws from various therapeutic modalities that meet her patient's unique needs: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Compassion-focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Solution-focused Therapy.

Lauren Carrique
Lauren Carrique
Lauren is a registered social worker who completed her Master of Social Work at the University of Toronto. She has experience working with various patient populations, including those living with addictions and those with complex medical needs. She holds a certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy from Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as additional clinical training in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and other therapeutic modalities. At the Poul Hansen Centre for Depression, Lauren works with patients in both individual and group settings to provide psychotherapy and system navigation support.

Emily Milton
Emily Milton
Emily is a registered social worker who completed her Master of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Emily draws from various therapeutic modalities and has completed clinical training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Emotion-Focused Therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy. Emily has previous experience providing therapy to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community and has a conversational fluency in American Sign Language. Her practice is informed deeply by values of disability justice, anti-oppression and queer and trans-affirming care. At the Centre for Mental Health, Emily supports both the Outpatient Mental Health program and the Poul Hansen Centre for Depression, where she provides individual and group psychotherapy.

rTMS Technicians

Lima Charlery

Lima Charlery

Sanjana Sharma

Sanjana Sharma​

 How We Can Help

Pharmacology

The Psychopharmacology Unit is a centre of excellence in the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and management of adults with major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. We provide diagnostic opinions and management recommendations for patients with mood disorders who are receiving treatment or who are chronically ill.

Our clinic has a particular interest in developing novel medication strategies for people who suffer from these conditions.

We continue to accept referrals for medication consultations which will be completed by virtual visits.

Please note that we do not provide prescriptions for cannabis.

Our research is recognized around the world for helping to improve the way mood disorders are diagnosed and treated.

rTMS

Our clinic offers treatment for major depressive disorder and several other psychiatric disorders where medications have been unsuccessful, using a non-invasive form of brain stimulation known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS).

rTMS is a Health Canada-approved treatment for major depression and works by directly stimulating areas of the brain that are underactive or overactive, gradually returning them to healthy patterns of activity. To stimulate the brain, rTMS uses powerful, focused magnetic field pulses that are applied using a magnetic coil placed against the scalp, over the target brain region.

When applied repeatedly, these pulses can strengthen or weaken the connections between neurons, known as synapses. The long-lasting changes in neural connections can achieve lasting changes in brain activity, reversing the abnormal patterns associated with depression.

Psychotherapy

We provide short-term psychotherapy for individuals who are receiving treatment in our Centre. Psychotherapy is offered primarily in a group setting. We will assess patients for individual therapy as needed.

Types of therapy offered:

We provide support with navigation of the health care system which includes helping you become connected with community resources and supports, or supports in our Centre.

Please note: For psychotherapy services, we only accept internal referrals from psychiatrists of the Poul Hansen Family Centre for Depression.​

 Our Current Events

The Poul Hansen Family Centre for Depression Friends and Family Day

Date: Saturday, April 6, 2024
Time: 10:00 am – 12:20 pm EDT
Virtual via Zoom

This free event is ideal for individuals who have experienced symptoms of depression, as well as the care providers and close family and friends in their lives. During this two-hour event, you will be able to join our team of experienced mental health clinicians, who will present on several exciting topics:

  • Understanding Depression - Foundations & Hope: Examine the fundamentals of depression in an informative psychoeducation session. What characterizes and triggers this mental health disorder? Includes an overview of the Centre's programs, illustrating the diverse care pathways navigated by our patients and their families.
  • Medications in Focus - Navigating Depression Treatment: Discussion of common depression medications and their side effects, addressing common queries from patients and families.
  • Empowering Transition - Tools for Practical Wellness: Gain quick, tangible skills from various therapeutic modalities, enhancing empowerment and providing participants with valuable takeaways. Will include a reflective meditation exercise to encourage calmness and self-reflection.

To register for this virtual event, please visit the Poul Hansen Family Centre for Depression Friends and Family Day conference page.​

 Understanding Depression and Other Mood Disorders

Research fuels our high-quality patient care, as the Poul Hansen Family Centre for Depression works to better understand depression and other mood disorders. Our team is involved in developing novel, innovative and multi​-disciplinary research to improve treatments for patients, as well as communicating that work to patients and care providers so they better understand the subject of depression and different approaches to care.

Annually, we host a Friends and Family Day event, an opportunity to share information and provide mental health and wellness support to those in attendance. The event is designed for individuals who have experienced sympt​​oms of depression as well as the care providers and close family and friends in their lives. Experienced staff discuss a range of informative topics from cutting-edge research to practical ways to improve your mental health. Recent presentations include:

 
Learn how to cultivate compassion and kindness into your daily life by understanding its demonstrated benefit to mental health, its attributes, how to practice it as well as a range of exercises to try.
Cultivating Compassion through Mindfulness Practices
 
An overview of the history, development and effectiveness of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), which involves a series of short magnetic pulses directed to the brain to stimulate nerve cells.
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Brain Stimulation and rTMS

 
Better understand how emotions affect mental health, the emotional regulation system, how we respond to perceived threats, our soothing system, as well as a range of exercises to try such as mindfulness practice.
Keeping Our Emotions In-Balance
 
Focused on topics that empower patient families and caregivers to effectively support a loved one with a mental illness, such as mental health education, service navigation, practical tools and self-care.
Family Support: Walking the Journey as a Caregiver
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