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Bell $10 Million Donation to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Pushes Campaign Over the Top


CAMH Foundation raises $108 million to transform lives

Bell's record donation is the largest corporate gift ever to Canadian mental health

Bell Gateway Building will serve as entry point and central hub for CAMH Queen Street campus

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 11, 2011)

Today marks the beginning of a new era for mental health in Canada, as the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation announced that it has not only reached but exceeded its campaign milestone of $100 million to transform care for people living with mental illness. Bell Canada's gift of $10 million, the largest corporate donation ever to mental health in Canada, brings the total raised to $108 million in the Transforming Lives Campaign, the largest hospital fundraising campaign for mental health in North America.

"We're extremely grateful to Bell for its generous donation and leadership in pushing us over the top in our campaign," says Darrell Gregersen, President and CEO, CAMH Foundation. "The Bell gift is the largest corporate donation to mental health in Canada. That, along with our $108 million milestone, is proof that mental health in Canada is transforming. We have an unprecedented level of support from incredible individuals and organizations such as Bell, we have leaders and volunteers from all parts of our communities championing the issue and we now have more capacity than ever before to bring about change for those with mental illness."

Launched in 2005, the CAMH Foundation's Transforming Lives campaign is dedicated to the first phases of CAMH's redevelopment, including the construction of new state-of-the-art hospital buildings designed to enhance recovery and offer innovative programs, all while integrating more fully into the community. The CAMH vision provides a new model of care, a healthy environment that promotes recovery, unites the best research, clinical, education, and policy experts in one place, and helps change attitudes by eliminating the stigma associated with mental illness and addiction.

"The Bell team is proud to be an integral partner in the CAMH community and for its central entry point – the Bell Gateway Building – to so visibly carry our name," said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell and BCE Inc. "We support CAMH's world-leading vision to promote mental health by integrating the best resources and talent within a community framework. With its commitment to improved care and access, and to knowledge sharing with mental health physicians, researchers and care providers nationally and globally, the Transforming Lives campaign aligns perfectly with the Bell Mental Health Initiative."

Bell's landmark donation will support two key priorities for CAMH:

  • Enhancing access to care, knowledge and tools for primary care providers and other health professionals through the development of Canada's pre-eminent Knowledge Portal for mental health as well as a system of targeted frontline support, sustained patient follow-up and knowledge transfer, all of which are needed to deliver better care to more people.
  • Helping break down physical barriers to service by transforming CAMH's "front door", through the Bell Gateway Building. This building will serve as a central hub on the Queen Street campus. It will bring together a variety of treatment programs including, key central clinical services, a state-of-the-art gymnasium, a spiritual care centre, a new physiotherapy clinic, and CAMH's client-run Out of this World Café.

"This is a historic moment for all Canadians. Together with our donors, we have created a seismic breakthrough and raised unprecedented funds for research and support mechanisms to address the staggering impact of mental illness. The extraordinary success of this campaign sends a bold statement of hope to all Canadians who are living with mental illness," said CAMH President and CEO, Dr. Catherine Zahn.

Mental illness and addiction touches all Canadians:

  • 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental illness or addiction in their lifetime.
  • Mental illness is the number one cause of workplace disability in Canada. Every day, 500,000 Canadians are absent from work due to mental illness and addictions.
  • Mental illness costs the Canadian economy a staggering $51 billion annually, including direct medical costs, lost productivity, and reduced quality of life.

"We are thrilled that the Bell Gateway Building will be the anchor for the transformation of CAMH into an open and welcoming physical environment for those coping with mental illness, and for their families too," said Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell Mental Health Initiative. "With our Bell Let's Talk campaign, Bell is committed to helping reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. By being such a visible part of the CAMH community with the Bell Gateway Building, we hope to encourage further dialogue and understanding about mental health."

The Bell Mental Health Initiative

The Bell Mental Health Initiative is a $50-million, multi-year charitable program that promotes mental health across Canada based on four key pillars: anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices. It's the largest-ever corporate investment in mental health in Canada. To learn more about the Bell Mental Health Initiative and the Bell Let's Talk anti-stigma campaign, please visit www.bell.ca/letstalk.

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (www.camh.net)

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 this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness and addictions.

CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation (www.supportcamh.ca)

CAMH Foundation raises funds to support CAMH's excellent patient care, insightful research and innovative programs to better understand, treat and prevent mental illness and addiction.

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation

Charitable Number:

100 Stokes Street, 5th Floor
Bell Gateway Building
Toronto, ON M6J 1H4

Toll-Free: 1.800.414.0471
Telephone: 416.979.6909
Fax: 416.979.6910 or fax the hospital

Need Mental Health Help?

CAMH operates central clinical and research facilities in Toronto. We also have 9 locations throughout the province that provide communities with education and support for program development, health promotion and prevention.

Find Help

Or contact the hospital toll-free at 1.800.463.6273