Marilyn's Story

Marilyn Bright, Nursing School Graduation Photo

Marilyn Bright, Nursing School Graduation Photo

Electroconvulsive therapy or ECT is one of the most controversial and misunderstood treatments for mental illness. It’s a safe and effective treatment for severe depression when patients have symptoms that haven't responded to medication, counselling or other psychosocial treatments. It is also used to treat mania and schizophrenia in people with an acute illness and to maintain their improvement.

Our Let’s Keep Talking Outstanding Healthcare Provider is very aware of that. Marilyn Bright has been working in mental health since graduating from the Nova Scotia Hospital School of Nursing in 1964. 

For the last several decades she has been working in the ECT Department, which provides up to 3500 treatments per year. 

Marilyn recognizes this treatment can be especially anxiety provoking for patients and families given the stigma surrounding it.  She is always the first to put patients at ease with reasoned answers to their many questions.  Needless to say, this is extremely helpful and reassuring. 

Marilyn’s nominator recalls one specific example when a 14-year-old patient was referred to ECT as the treatment of last resort for intrusive and disabling symptoms.  Both parents were understandably distraught and concerned. Before the procedure took place, Marilyn sat with them in a quiet corner of the chapel. They were soon calm, relaxed, and comfortable with moving forward. They were completely reassured by Marilyn’s words which were framed by her many years of experience. The treatment outcome was very favourable, and both parents continue to credit the compassionate discussion with Marilyn as a major motivator in their child’s treatment course.

The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia is proud to present Marilyn Bright with the 2019 Let’s Keep Talking Award for Outstanding Healthcare Provider. Congratulations, Marilyn.