TORONTO, Jan. 11, 2018 /CNW/ - Mental illness is the world's leading cause of disability, affecting more than 6.7 million Canadians.  The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is honoured to be entrusted with the first $100 million donation in Canada dedicated to defining the causes of mental illness and to developing the cures that will save lives and create hope. It's an anonymous gift to Canada's largest mental health academic health science centre, given in the spirit of public service and intended to fuel the discovery that will save lives and create social change for all Canadians.

"Complex problems need complex solutions. We need to invest in the fundamental research and the clinical innovation that will improve the health of individuals and populations, locally, nationally and globally. This gift will make that a reality," says Dr. Catherine Zahn, CAMH President and CEO.

This investment will create a Discovery Fund, which will allow CAMH to accelerate its efforts to transform the lives of people who live with mental illness. The Discovery Fund will enable CAMH to attract talent, explore big ideas, support young scientists and leverage data to expose the mysteries of the brain.

"I believe CAMH is well-positioned to make a transformational impact in the field of mental health research. I have seen the devastating impact of mental illness on individuals and their families; I want to provide support to the next generation of researchers and scientists to pursue the research that will directly transform care. In order to enable quantum leaps forward, this gift will also support high-risk, high-reward research," said the donor.

"We are eternally grateful to this donor, for investing $100 million in our capacity to generate world-leading clinical discovery, and to invest in some of the high-risk, high-reward research that usually doesn't get top funding priority," says Darrell Louise Gregersen, President & CEO, CAMH Foundation. "Philanthropy at CAMH is truly changing the future of mental illness, and creating hope for all Canadians."

The Discovery Fund will enable CAMH to make remarkable breakthroughs in a number of priority areas:

  • People Development: Incubate and activate the next generation of leading early and mid-career scientists.
  • New Ideas: Foster discovery and innovation that is focused on understanding disease mechanisms, effective diagnosis, testing; and new ways to predict, prevent and recover from mental illness.
  • Discovery Platform: Invest in enhancing the data, data platforms and analytics that will enable 21st Century research and translation of research findings into clinical practice.

The Discovery Fund will powerfully fuel CAMH's capacity to address the challenges of diagnosis, prevention and treatment of mental illness. The Fund will accelerate research at CAMH and beyond, and transform the future of mental health care nationally and internationally.

For more information about applying to one of the fund programs, please visit: camh.ca/discoveryfund

To see a video featuring emerging CAMH scientists talking about how this fund could change the future of mental health, click here

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in its field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please follow @CAMHnews on Twitter

For further information: For interviews please contact: Sean O'Malley, Senior Media Relations Specialist, 416-970-8243 or sean.omalley@camh.ca; or Emma Kimmerly, CAMH Foundation Media Relations, 416-535-8501 ext 33201 or emma.kimmerly@camh.ca