CAMH Foundation

CAMH Foundation

October 28, 2009 12:32 ET

$5 Million Gift from G. Raymond Chang to Further Research in Mental Health and Addictions

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Announces Generous Gift

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 28, 2009) - An extraordinary gift of $5 million from Mr. G. Raymond Chang, Chancellor of Ryerson University and Chair of CI Financial, will go toward furthering research and education about the treatment of mental health and addictions, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation announced today.

"CAMH is conducting world-leading research into mental health and addictions with pioneering gene science and advanced brain imaging, combined with clinical expertise," said CAMH Foundation President and CEO, Darrell Louise Gregersen. "This gift will help us achieve the goal of ensuring that those experiencing mental health and addictions receive the best care possible."

"We are thankful to Mr. Chang, not only for his generosity, but for standing up and showing his leadership in supporting mental health and addictions," she said.

Mr. Chang's gift will help CAMH achieve its goal of raising $15-million from the private sector for a major research initiative, funded in part by the Canada Foundation for Innovation. The gift will support a $38-million project that will enable CAMH to focus on research in key areas, including: schizophrenia, mood disorders, addictions, community health and knowledge exchange, neuroimaging, pharmacognetics and neuroscience. CAMH is among the top three research centres in the world in the combined field of brain imaging and genetics.

"There have been significant advances in treatments for people living with mental illness and addictions, but there's still so much to learn," said Catherine Zahn, incoming President and CEO, CAMH. "In the past, therapies have been identified by trial and error rather than through an evidence based understanding of the complex factors leading to these conditions. Today, research at CAMH is changing the way we treat mental health and addictions. The impact will not only be within our facilities and our local community but also nationally and internationally."

After touring its facilities, Mr. Chang was moved to support CAMH. He said: "Unlike physical ailments, mental health issues are difficult to see or understand, making it easy to turn away in ignorance. And in many respects support for mental health has been left behind. As a result there is a lot of catching up to do in research and education. I greatly admire those affected by mental health issues who have stepped forward to tell their stories, amongst them Harry Rosen, Valerie Pringle and Michael Wilson."

Mr. Chang's gift is the first to support the matching Canada Foundation for Innovation grant, the largest institutional grant in CAMH's history which will fund the internationally recognized research being undertaken by CAMH. The combined donations will support the most ambitious fundraising campaign ever undertaken in Canada for mental illness and addictions: The CAMH Foundation's Transforming Lives campaign aims to raise $100 million to re-develop its antiquated facilities. The redevelopment will mean that state-of-the-art clinical care, research and education will be interspersed with neighbourhood amenities such as parks, retail outlets and a healthy mix of uses and activities.

For further information on the CAMH Foundation, please visit www.supportcamh.ca.

About CAMH

CAMH is one of the leading addiction and mental health organizations in North America and Canada1s largest mental health and addictions teaching hospital. Integrating clinical care, scientific research, education, policy development and health promotion, CAMH helps transform the lives of people impacted by mental health and addiction issues.

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