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Electroconvulsive therapy

Information for consumers, families and carers

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is a medical treatment for severe mental health conditions including major depression, bipolar disorder and psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia. ECT is a treatment performed under direct supervision of a Psychiatrist and Psychiatric Registrar who are assisted by an Anaesthetist and a team of Nurses.

ECT is most commonly used to treat severe depression. It may be helpful if:

  • Anti-depressant drugs did not work well enough, or if there were problems with side effect
  • ECT has worked well for you in the past.
  • Your illness is so severe that you cannot function in your everyday life

ECT is considered an effective, evidence-based treatment by:

  • The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP)
  • The QLD Mental Health Commission
  • The World Health Organisation.

Click to download A Guide to Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) for Consumers and Carers
Click here for information about Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) – A fact sheet for you and your family
Click here for more information on consent for ECT
Fact Sheet on regulated treatments under the Mental Health Act 2016


Gold Coast Hospital Video Resource 1 - The ECT Journey 



Gold Coast Hospital Video Resource 2 - The Whole Story




Last updated: Monday, October 15, 2018