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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

 
Charlene Reynolds, Clinical Director

Dr. Susan Abbey 
Dr. Susan Abbey, Psychiatrist-in-Chief
Dr. Susan Abbey is the Psychiatrist-in-Chief at UHN and a Professor in 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.jpg  
Marla Kaye, Manager
Marla Kaye is the Manager of Community Mental Health and the Poul Hansen Family Centre for Depression. She is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and a member of the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists, and Psychotherapists. She has over 25 years of experience in the mental health field. Before joining UHN in November 2018, Marla was a Program Manager of Counselling Services at Canadian Hearing Society and had a successful private practice in Toronto.
Marla 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 (co-presenter) and Burnout Prevention and Care: Increasing Clinical Resiliencies Through Mindfulness Compassion Practices. Marla is a champion of patient-centred care, committed to supporting staff in delivering accessible quality service and treatment.

Jenna McLeod
Jenna McLeod, Team Lead
Jenna McLeod holds a Master of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. As the Team Lead for the Poul Hansen Family Centre for Depression, Jenna leads and supports a large team in providing a high quality of care for patients and families. She has primarily worked in acute care settings with individuals with severe mental illnesses and has also led program development initiatives and contributed to research endeavors focused on behavioural activation.
Jenna’s interests in psychotherapy have led her to complete certificates in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. Currently, Jenna is enrolled in the University of California Centre for Mindfulness Studies completing her certificate in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, which she is excited to implement within the Centre. Jenna’s clinical work focuses on individual and group therapy, navigation and resources and family support. Jenna’s approach to care is collaborative and embodies a commitment to holistic patient-centered care.

Administrative Assistants

 
Sunny Hong (Physician Admin)

Sarah Innes  
Sarah Innes

Staff Physicians

Dr. Venkat Bhat  
Dr. Venkat Bhat, MD, MSc, FRCPC, DABPN
Dr. Venkat Bhat is a psychiatrist with a clinical interest in Interventional Psychiatry which includes advanced neurostimulation and psychopharmacology. At The Poul Hansen Family Centre for Depression, he is currently leading a program comparing Electroconvulsive Therapy to IV Ketamine which offers novel possibilities for Treatment-resistant Depression. At the Toronto Western Hospital, he works closely with specific neurosurgery programs interfacing with neuropsychiatry: he is responsible for assessment and device programming of patients undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation for psychiatric indications, and the psychiatric care of the cohort undergoing invasive brain monitoring and neurosurgical intervention for Epilepsy. His research interest is in deciphering treatment response with the novel interventions.

Dr. Jonathan Downar 
Dr. Jonathan Downar, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Dr. Jonathan Downar is the Director of the rTMS Clinic at Toronto Western Hospital, Scientist at the Krembil Research Institute, and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He completed a BSc in biology at McGill University, followed by a PhD in neuroimaging at the University of Toronto, before obtaining his medical degree from the University of Calgary in 2005. He also completed a research fellowship in neuroeconomics at Baylor College of Medicine.
Dr. Downar’s research focuses on translating advances in basic neuroimaging and neuroscience research into improvements in the efficacy, capacity, and cost of rTMS. The rTMS clinic at Toronto Western Hospital is now among the busiest in North America, with seven full-time treatment suites and more than 3,000 patient referrals to date. The clinic offers treatment without charge to approximately 50-70 patients each day. Dr. Downar’s work to date has been published in leading clinical and basic research journals including Nature Neuroscience, JAMA Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, Neuropsychopharmacology, Brain Stimulation, Nature Medicine and Lancet.

Dr. Sidney Kennedy 
Dr. Sidney Kennedy, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Sidney H. Kennedy is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, Director of the Centre for Depression & Suicide Studies at St. Michael’s Hospital, and a Scientist at Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and Krembil Research Institute, UHN. He holds the Arthur Sommer Rotenberg Chair in Depression and Suicide Studies at the University of Toronto and is the lead investigator for the Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression. This is a large biomarker initiative across Canada funded by the Ontario Brain Institute to evaluate biomarkers as predictors of risk, treatment response and relapse in people with Major Depressive Disorder and those at risk for suicide. Currently this network is carrying out 12 independent trials across the country.
Dr. Kennedy has published more than 400 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 and Bipolar Disorder. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Science.

Dr. Rodrigo Mansur  
Dr. Rodrigo Mansur, MD, FRCPC
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 currently a Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of Toronto and Head of the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit at the University Health Network, Toronto, Canada. Dr. McIntyre is also Executive Director of the Brain and Cognition Discovery Foundation in Toronto, Canada. Dr. McIntyre is also Director for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) from Chicago, Illinois, USA. Dr. McIntyre is also Professor and Nanshan Scholar at Guangzhou Medical University, and Adjunct Professor College of Medicine at Korea University. Dr. McIntyre is also Clinical Professor State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York, USA and Clinical Professor Department of Psychiatry and Neurosciences University of California School of Medicine, Riverside, California, USA. Dr. McIntyre was named by Clarivate Analytics/Thomson Reuters in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 as one of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds”. 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 is involved in multiple research endeavours which primarily aim to characterize the association between mood disorders, notably cognitive function and medical comorbidity. His works broadly aims to characterize the underlying causes of cognitive impairment in individuals with mood disorders and their impact on workplace functioning. This body of work has provided a platform for identifying novel molecular targets to treat and prevent mood disorders and accompanying cognitive impairment.
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 is a contributor to the Florida Best Practice Psychotherapeutic Medication Guidelines for Adults with Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder. Dr. McIntyre is also a contributor to the CANMAT guidelines for the treatment of Depressive Disorders and Bipolar Disorders. Dr. McIntyre has published more than 600 articles/manuscripts and has edited and/or co-edited several textbooks on 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, FRCPC
Dr. Joshua Rosenblat is a staff psychiatrist and clinician-researcher at the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit (MDPU) 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 at the University of Toronto. During his residency training, he served as the chief resident of the Clinician-Scientist Program.

Mental Health Clinicians

Sariné Willis O'Connor
Cristina Barrios
Cristina is a bilingual registered social worker (English & Spanish) with experience working in mental health and addictions with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. She is passionate about providing patient-centered care and empowering patients in developing skills to cope with their mental health concerns and stressors.
Cristina’s counselling approach draws from various therapeutic modalities that meet her patient’s unique needs: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Compassion Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Solution-focused Therapy.

Sariné Willis O'Connor
Sariné Willis-O'Connor
Sariné Willis-O'Connor is a Registered Psychotherapist who champions accessibility and equity in patient care. She is proficient in American Sign Language, and has worked extensively with individuals with disabilities and with members of the Deaf community. Sariné uses her knowledge and skills in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) to co-develop and run the psychotherapy groups and services offered at the Poul Hansen Family Centre for Depression.

rTMS Technician

Sariné Willis O'Connor
Rafeya Shami​​​

 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 visit.

Please note that we do not provide prescriptions to cannabis.

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

rTMS

Please note: The rTMS program at Toronto Western Hospital is currently on hold as required by the safety measures currently needed for hospitals to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We hope to re-open the program for those awaiting scheduled treatment at a later date, when it is safe to do so, but cannot provide a firm date for re-opening at this time. The rTMS program is also currently unable to accept new referrals for treatment.

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

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 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: We only accept internal referrals from physicians in the Poul Hansen Family Centre for Depression.​​​​

 Past Events

Patient and Family Education and Support Day

Date: Saturday, February 8, 2020
Location: BMO Education & Conference Centre, Toronto Western Hospital, 60 Leonard Avenue, Toronto