Media Release |
Feb. 21, 2005
Canada’s Largest Mental Health Gift Launches $20 Million
University of B.C. President Martha Piper and Premier Gordon
Campbell today announced a $20 million advance in mental health
research, training and policy, generated by a $10 million
gift, the largest ever to mental health in Canada, from a
close friend of the university who wishes to remain anonymous.
The Provincial Government’s $10 million matching contribution,
subject to legislative approval, will put B.C. at the forefront
of the field with the establishment of the UBC Institute of
Mental Health (UBCIMH) and three endowed UBC research chairs.
“All members of our society, including those afflicted
with mental illness, deserve the best care we can offer,”
the donor has said.
“Mental illness has a profound impact on all of us
as a province, but most of all on those who struggle to overcome
it in their own lives,” said Premier Campbell. “Through
the opportunity to match this generous private donation, we
can draw on the exceptional research capacity of UBC to better
understand the causes of mental illness, develop better treatments,
and reduce its impact on families, communities, and our economy.”
“The generosity of this very special friend of UBC
will give a very special impetus to research into illnesses
that impact all of our families and all of our communities,”
said President Piper.
Five-million-dollar endowments will help the Faculty of
Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry recruit three leading
clinician-researchers in the fields of Child and Adolescent
Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry and Depression, and Psychotherapy.
The $5 million balance, also endowed, will create fellowships,
junior faculty positions, and help communicate research and
clinical findings to clinicians and mental health professionals.
The new chairs will join a team of scientists and academic
clinicians already in place thanks to funding from such sources
as the provincial Leading Edge Endowment Fund and the federal
Canada Research Chairs program, said Department of Psychiatry
Head Prof. Athanasios Zis.
“Today’s announcement,” said Zis, “creates
a unique cascade of opportunities, not only in leading edge
research, but also in the training of clinicians and the development
of innovative treatments that will benefit all Canadians.”
UBC Public Affairs