An anonymous donor just gave $100 million to Canada’s largest mental health hospital.
The $100 million gift given to Toronto’s Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) represents the largest donation to mental health concerns in Canadian history. The money will be placed in a “discovery fund” which will support the next generation of scientists, according to CTV News.
“We’d like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to the anonymous donor who gave CAMH this breakthrough gift, which will help change the future of #mentalhealth in Canada,” said a CAMH spokesperson in a tweet. “We’re humbled by this phenomenal act of generosity, courage, trust, foresight and leadership.”
Dr. Catherine Zahn, CEO for the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, told the CBC that the money will be used to support “fundamental research and clinical innovation”, with a focus on understanding “disease mechanisms, improving diagnosis, find new ways to predict, prevent, recover from mental illness.”
“We are eternally grateful to this donor for investing $100 million in our capacity to generate world-leading discovery, and to invest in some of the high-risk, high-reward research that usually doesn’t get top funding priority,” said Darrell Louise Gregersen, head of the CAMH Foundation. The Foundation is responsible for fundraising and overseeing donations to the center.
Doctor Cory Gerritson, a psychiatrist working at the CAMH, said they’re hoping to discover ways of preventing mental illness before it even starts. “Ultimately we do hope to prevent psychosis in any case, and to be able to identify it in anybody before it starts.”
During the announcement, the CAMH shared the touching story of Tom Churchill, a former patient who struggles with clinical depression. “No one knows what the next breakthrough treatment of mental illness will be, but we all know that it is donations such as this one that will make it possible,” he said.
“I send a heartfelt thanks to the donor… thanks from me and thanks on behalf of all the people who this funding will help over the coming years.”
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