Dr Gary Galambos, Psychiatrist, Leads Innovative Mental Health Research Program At Uspace
Specialising in young adult mental health, Dr Gary Galambos has long been passionate about developing sophisticated educational and hi-tech intervention strategies to improve clinical care for his patients. And with the latest launch of a new research program at Uspace - the young adult mental health service at St Vincent's Private Hospital, Dr Galambos is doing just that.
As the service's medical director, Dr Galambos has spearheaded a research program testing four treatments promising to enhance outpatient and inpatient care. The program includes the following:
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS):
Dr Galambos demonstrated an MRI-guided TMS session at the program’s launch in March 2023, showing how this non-invasive procedure uses high-precision brain scans and focused magnetic pulses to treat mental disorders including clinical depression and anxiety. To locate the correct brain region, an MRI brain scan and neuronavigation equipment is used to identify the specific target on the surface of the brain relevant to the diagnosed disorder. Then the TMS treatment begins - a magnetic coil is placed on the patient's scalp and focuses magnetic fields onto the exact brain area. This advanced, precise mental health treatment combining the expertise of psychiatrists and radiologists is now available for Uspace patients at St Vincent’s Private Hospital and VisionXRAY practices across Sydney.
- Online mental health literacy tools:
Staff at Uspace have beta-tested MindSkiller, a digital mental health service founded by Dr Galambos. MindSkiller makes specialist-grade psychiatric knowledge accessible through eLearning modules. This free online service is expected to improve mental health literacy about mental health, including the common mental disorders, for patients and their families and clinicians. For inpatient admissions, it will also improve safety by enhancing support by Upsace and external clinicians after discharge. For staff, the platform builds their clinical skills and confidence. To learn more about this education program, check out MindSkiller's website.
- Virtual Reality (VR) with olfactory stimulation, branded as MindSkiller Therapy VR4D. Uspace is incorporating scent-augmented VR as a mindfulness intervention. Using technology from US-based company OVR, this intervention brings scents into a virtual environment to enhance the user's sensory experience. As a therapeutic tool for patients, particularly those with high anxiety, scent-augmented VR can be used to calm individuals experiencing high levels of distress during their inpatient admission.
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT):
To top it all off, Uspace has introduced a DBT day program to manage borderline personality disorder and other mental health conditions characterised by emotional dysregulation. The DBT day program being offered to Uspace patients will teach young adults ready to learn the skills required for managing volatile emotions and interpersonal conflicts in a weekly day program, which is covered by private health funds.
Each new treatment enhances the high-quality care and services associated with Uspace. With plans to integrate all four interventions, Uspace remains at the forefront of young adult mental health care.