Professional News
Canadian Bank Invests in Improving Children’s Mental Health
Psychiatric News
Volume 36 Number 11 page 9-9

RBC Investments—the wealth-management division of the Royal Bank of Canada—has given a $2 million gift in support of children’s mental health care. The gift has gone to the University of Toronto’s department of psychiatry and the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, which is a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto and the largest mental health and addiction facility in Canada.

When the gift was announced in February, Joseph Beitchman, M.D., head of child psychiatry at the University of Toronto and clinical director of child psychiatry at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, made the following statement to the Canadian press: "This is a visionary investment in Canada’s children, and the ‘returns’ will be profound. Most adult psychiatric disorders have roots in childhood and adolescence. About one in five children between the ages of 4 and 16 has a diagnosable psychiatric disorder."

"To receive a gift of this magnitude from a corporate donor is unprecedented for us," said Paul Garfinkel, M.D., CEO of the center and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto. "There is still work to do in breaking down the stigma attached to mental illness and addictions, but we are making progress. This would not have happened five years ago, and we applaud the employees of RBC Investments for their generosity, courage, and vision."

The gift, Beitchman explained in an interview with Psychiatric News, will be used not only to "further research in early intervention, prevention, fostering mental health, advocacy, and education," but to fund a new endowed chair, which will be jointly held at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health and the University of Toronto’s psychiatry department. "We are going to be embarking on a search for a chair holder for this new endowed chair," he said, "and we will be recruiting both within Canada and outside Canada."

Information about the new endowed chair is available from Beitchman by phone at (416) 813-7524 or by e-mail at joseph.beitchman@sickkids.on.ca.

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