TORONTO, April 9, 2015 /CNW/ - Supporters and staff of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) opened the Toronto Stock Exchange today, proclaiming the start of trading as they announce that a landmark $125 million has been raised in support of lifesaving mental health care, research and advocacy at CAMH.
This milestone marks a tipping point in CAMH Foundation's $200 million Breakthrough Campaign for the hospital, the largest campaign of its kind in Canada for mental health. Funds raised will enable CAMH to improve access to care, permit significant investment in leading-edge research that holds the promise of new treatments—even a cure, and to continue to influence changes in attitudes about mental illness and addiction.
"Thanks to the generosity and trust of our donors, including new supporters giving over $1 million and the 4,000 community donors we welcomed into the CAMH family this year, CAMH is positioned to transform mental health care in Canada and around the world," said Darrell Gregersen, President & CEO, CAMH Foundation. "The success of the Breakthrough Campaign and the many vital projects that depend on this funding, hinge on our ability to mobilize Canadians in support of the cause of mental health and CAMH, Canada's leading hospital for mental health."
As CAMH Foundation's donor base grows, so too does society's understanding of mental illness and compassion for those affected.
CAMH Foundation recently surveyed Canadian's about mental health. To see how much attitudes have changed in recent years, they took direction from a survey done by the Canadian Medical Association in 2008:
- In 2008, 46% of Canadians believed that a diagnosis of mental illness is merely an "excuse for poor behavior and personal failings". Today, 83% disagree with this statement.
- In 2008, 42% of Canadians would no longer socialize with a friend diagnosed with a mental illness. Seven years later, 82% of respondents indicate that they would socialize with someone who has a mental illness.
Awareness-raising campaigns run by CAMH Foundation have encouraged more Canadians to talk openly about mental illness and addiction. In 2015, the Foundation will embark on their first foray into cause marketing; hoping to cut through the clutter of walks, runs, and ice-bucket challenges to shine a light on mental illness with the camh Darkness to Light challenge (www.darknesstolight.ca) taking place May 29-30.
Still, while profound progress has been made in eliminating the barriers that keep people from seeking help, CAMH is quick to remind us that much more work must be done. Fear of discrimination at work remains a resistant barrier to care and well-being with most Canadians (66%) indicating they would not discuss mental illness or addiction with their employer.
Darrell Gregersen hopes that seeing pillars of business help CAMH open the Toronto Stock Exchange will encourage more employers to take action to help address the issue of mental illness in the workplace and ensure that people living with mental illness have equal opportunity to succeed.
SOURCE CAMH Foundation
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