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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Metro South Addiction and Mental Health is home to the first Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Clinic in Queensland offering free treatment to people living with depression.

The new treatment is approved as a treatment for adults with major depressive disorders who have failed to achieve satisfactory improvement from antidrepressant medications.  It is used by reputable organisations across Australia and the world, as well as private mental health clinics in Queensland.

How does it work?

TMS uses magnetic pulses to stimulate or suppress nerves in specific regions of the brain. During a TMS procedure, the person receiving TMS sits on a recliner chair and a coil attached to the TMS machine is placed on their scalp. When the machine is activated, an electrical current passes through the coil. This current makes the coil emit a magnetic field that is targeted towards specific areas of the brain.

The duration of this treatment can vary from roughly 20 min to 45 min as determined by the psychiatrist in the TMS clinic. A standard course of TMS offers treatment five days (weekdays) a week for four weeks. .

What does it feel like?

Everyone's experience is unique but most patients describe it as a tapping sensation. It may be uncomfortable and for some, even painful initially. However virtually all patients become used to the sensation after a few treatments. The sensation generally only lasts during the stimulation.

How effective is TMS for treatment of depression?

TMS is a relatively new treatment and not everyone responds to this treatment. Some studies report its effectiveness is close to antidepressants. Generally speaking one in every 3 people reports complete relief from depressive symptoms and another one in 3 reports some benefit.

Is TMS the right treatment for me or my loved one?

Currently, TMS is only available for people who have had depression that has not responded to treatment with antidepressants.  Presence of another psychiatric illness in addition to Major Depressive Disorder requires a careful assessment by a specialist to determine patient’s suitability for rTMS.
TMS is not a treatment for clinical emergency where an urgent response is needed.

TMS therapy is not suitable for patients who:

  • have epilepsy or suffer from seizures
  • have an active brain illness (such as a recent stroke)
  • have an unstable medical condition (e.g. heart disease) that could be exacerbated if they suffer a seizure
  • are pregnant
  • have any condition that may be affected by the magnetic field including metal implants in the head, surgical clips, cardiac pacemakers, implanted medication pumps or electrodes.

How to get a referral to the TMS clinic

The TMS clinic takes referrals from psychiatrists and GP’s who are familiar with patients mental health and willing to provide the ongoing care necessary to monitor the patient's mental health while undergoing TMS.


Only the doctors can request the referral form from the TMS clinic. They can request the referral form via e mail MSAMHS_TMS@health.qld.gov.au or by calling the clinic on (07)30894170. However, to make referral easier, we would be happy to send a referral form to your doctor’s clinic directly. Just advise us of the doctor’s address.


The TMS clinic also offers specialist advice to referring doctors over phone. Your doctors surgery can request a consult over phone with one of our specialists.

Location of the TMS Clinic

The TMS clinic is located at 51 Wembley Road, Logan Central, Brisbane. If you have any further queries regarding TMS, please email msamhs_tms@health.qld.gov.au.

If you require help urgently, please call 1300 MH CALL (1300 642 255).

Location of the TMS Clinic

The TMS clinic is located at 51 Wembley Road, Logan Central, Brisbane. If you have any further queries regarding TMS, please email msamhs_tms@health.qld.gov.au.

To speak to a staff member from TMS clinic, please call (07) 3089 4170. This service is available only during business hours. Please read the fact sheets before calling the clinic that have answers to frequently asked question. If a staff member is not available to take your call, please leave a message with reception staff and we will return your call.

Please note again that TMS is not an emergency treatment for depression. If you require help urgently, please call 1300 MH CALL (1300 642 255).

Read about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) at our hospitals and centres

Last updated 22 July 2019
Last reviewed 12 December 2017