JOPLIN, Mo. — This month is Mental Health Awareness Month.

“Missouri has a higher than state average of suicide. And the county, Jasper County, our area here, has a higher than average rate of suicide than the state does,” said Del Camp, Chief Clinical Officer, Ozark Center.

And with this month focusing on mental health awareness, much of that awareness is seeing what available resources and treatment options are in our area.

“And so, the things that we’re talking about here are critically important. And we have a certain subset of the population right now, that is walking around, absolutely demoralized by their depression. They’ve tried everything they could, and you know, in Joplin, we know how to get things done. And we work very hard, and these individuals have worked very hard to try to make sure that they were able to turn things around, and this is the population that we just need to get a hold of. This is the population that we need to make sure understand, there is another option that’s out there. Do not give up, don’t ever give up, ” said Camp.

Freeman Health System’s Ozark Center Hope Spring offers a treatment called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS. This is a non-drug and non-invasive treatment option for severe depression, or for those who have not previously responded to depression medications or treatment.

“We’re sending an electrical signal, by way of a magnetic coil into the brain in a specific place, the pre-frontal cortex, the back part of the pre-frontal cortex. And the reason that that site is chosen is because it’s well-known to be associated with depression and the treatment of depression,” said Steven Goad, Psychiatrist, Ozark Center, Hope Spring.

67% of TMS patients at Ozark Center Hope Spring reported over a 50% reduction in depression. For those who have tried medications and saw no results, but still saw side effects, this technology could be a better option.

“But what I want folks to know is, in terms of side effects, there are almost no side effects to this,” said Camp.