New prize celebrates Canada's young mental health researchers with annual award of $100,000

The Royal receives $1M from Mach-Gaensslen Foundation of Canada to establish The Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research

OTTAWA, April 9, 2015 /CNW/ - The Royal has received a $1 million gift from The Mach-Gaensslen Foundation of Canada to establish a new prize to recognize excellence in mental health research in Canada. The Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research will award $100,000 annually to an early-career researcher (or team of up to three researchers).

"Mental illness is a huge burden on our society; it affects individuals and families on a deep personal level and it costs our economy billions of dollars every year.  Research in the field of mental health is of critical importance. We want to encourage Canada's outstanding young researchers to pursue discovery and innovation that will lead to breakthroughs in mental health care. This is why we have partnered with the Mach-Gaensslen Foundation to create this unique prize." - George Weber, President and CEO of The Royal.

The Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research will support Canadian early-career researchers with a focus in the area of mental health and encourage them to continue to pursue their research in Canada. The prize will recognize those with a demonstrated track record of excellence in clinical research, innovative thinking, collaboration, imagination and originality. The competition will occur once a year for the next 10 years, providing $100,000 of undirected funds to the recipient.

"Historically society has contributed more resources to oncology and cardiology than mental health, but mental health is an increasingly important area that needs support. Together with The Royal, we want to nurture new talent so the field of mental health research continues to grow, bringing better health to Canada and the world." - Dr. Chris Carruthers, Chair of the Mach-Gaensslen Foundation of Canada.

"The brain is the most complex organ in the human body. Every day we are increasing our understanding of the brain yet it still holds many mysteries.  There are brilliant young researchers in Canada capable of unlocking these mysteries and improving the lives of people with mental illness.  This prize will help to push their research forward and broaden our understanding of the mind."  - Dr. Zul Merali, President and CEO of The Royal's Institute of Mental Health Research.

The competition for 2015 is now open and the deadline for applications is July 15. Researchers can view the prize criteria and submit their applications at www.theroyal.ca/research.  The first recipient of The Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research will be announced in Ottawa this Fall.

This announcement marks the second $1 million gift that The Royal has received from the Mach-Gaensslen Foundation in support of mental health research.  In 2014, they contributed $1 million to help create the DIFD Mach-Gaensslen Chair in Suicide Prevention Research.  Together these gifts demonstrate a strong and ongoing commitment to promoting discovery in the field of mental health and encouraging doctors to make research an ongoing part of their careers.

About the Mach-Gaensslen Foundation

The Mach-Gaensslen Foundation of Canada honours the lives of Vaclav F. Mach, a successful businessman, and his wife, Dr. Hanni Gaensslen (MD) by supporting research related to the fields of cardiology, oncology, and psychiatry. Since 2000 the Foundation has donated more than $3 million dollars to medical student research initiatives and other research projects at universities and hospitals across Canada in order to promote discovery and encourage young doctors to make research an ongoing part of their careers.

About The Royal

The Royal is one of Canada's foremost mental health care and academic health science centres. Its mandate is simple: to help more people living with mental illness into recovery faster. The Royal combines the delivery of specialized mental health care, advocacy, research and education to transform the lives of people with complex and treatment resistant mental illness. The Royal's Institute of Mental Health Research is proudly affiliated with the University of Ottawa. The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health raises funds that support The Royal's work. The Royal places a sharp focus on awareness building through the You Know Who I Am campaign and the DIFD youth initiative. For more information, please visit www.theroyal.ca

 

SOURCE The Royal

Image with caption: "Dr. Zul Merali, President and CEO, The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research, Dr. Chris Carruthers Chair of the Mach-Gaensslen Foundation of Canada and George Weber, President and CEO, The Royal. (CNW Group/The Royal)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150409_C8556_PHOTO_EN_14094.jpg

For further information: Karen Monaghan 613.868.3740, karen.monaghan@leroyal.ca

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