PUBLIC INVITED TO JOIN GLOBAL MENTAL HEALTH DISCUSSION

The Gairdner Foundation and Graham Boeckh Foundation offer the public
unprecedented access to global leaders in the field of mental health

MONTREAL, May 17 /CNW/ - The Gairdner Foundation and Graham Boeckh Foundation are pleased to present Frontiers in Mental Health, a symposium exploring recent advancements in understanding the causes and treatments of mental illnesses. Interactive presentations will highlight progress in, and the challenges of, mental health research, and future promise for patients and families.

The Frontiers in Mental Health Symposium will be followed by a public lecture by Dr. Norman Doidge featuring the revolutionary discovery of neuroplasticity, the property of the brain that allows it to change its own structure and function through mental experience. Through video examples of real-life patient stories, Dr. Doidge will examine a variety of mental health conditions, the core principles of neuroplasticity, and how we can improve our approach to mental health.

What:                  
                               
                               
Symposium and public lecture
Simultaneous translation in English and French
No cost to participate
   
When:                 

Thursday, May 26, 2011
Symposium: 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Public Lecture: 5:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.
   
  *Please register in advance for both free events by email to thegairdner@gairdner.org
   
Where:                Centre Mont-Royal, 2200 rue Mansfield, Montreal, Quebec
   
Who:                     Frontiers in Mental Health Symposium speakers include:
 
  • Sydney Brenner (Nobel and Canada Gairdner Laureate), The Salk Institute of Biological Studies, San Diego
  • Jean-Pierre Changeux (Canada Gairdner Laureate), Collège de France and Institut Pasteur, Paris
  • Tom Insel, Director, National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), Bethesda, MD
  • Shitij Kapur, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London
  • Robert Post, Penn State School of Medicine and Head, Bipolar Collaborative Network, Chevy Chase, MD
  • Judith Rapoport, Chief, Child Psychiatry Branch, NIMH, Bethesda, MD
  • Guy Rouleau, Ste-Justine Hospital Research Centre, Montreal
  • Pamela Sklar, Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York,
  • Danny Weinberger, Chief, Clinical Brain Disorders Branch, NIMH, Bethesda, MD
     
  Featured public lecture speaker: Dr. Norman Doidge, author of the critically acclaimed book, The Brain that Changes Itself

"We are encouraging anyone with an interest in mental health to attend the public symposium and lecture to deepen their understanding of both mental health and what the future of mental health research may hold," says J. Anthony Boeckh, President, Graham Boeckh Foundation. "People who attend will have the unique opportunity to hear these updates first-hand from renowned experts who are at the frontiers of this field."

Mental health affects day-to-day living and has the ability to influence how we feel, perceive, think, communicate and understand. Without good mental health, people can be limited in their ability to realize their full potential or actively participate in everyday life.i

"Mental health disorders are a major personal and public health issue and there is an urgent need for leading neuroscience researchers to share insights and help articulate clear next steps," says John Dirks, CM, MD, President & Scientific Director, Gairdner Foundation. "We anticipate that the Frontiers in Mental Health program will offer new direction and hope for the identification and treatment of mental health disorders."

Registration
To register for these two events, email thegairdner@gairdner.org and indicate if you are registering for the Frontiers in Mental Health Symposium, the public lecture or both. For more information call 416-596-9996, ext. 204 or visit www.gairdner.org.

Partners include the Canadian Institutes of Health Research- Institutes of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Université de Montréal, Brain Canada, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, and the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Sponsors include:

  • Gold - BCE, BMO, Power Corp
  • Silver - Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ)
  • Bronze - CHU Sainte- Justine Research Center (Centre de Recherche du CHU Sainte-Justine), Réseau de Médicine Génétique Appliquée du FRSQ (RMGA)

About the Gairdner Foundation
The Gairdner Foundation was created in 1957 by James Arthur Gairdner to recognize and reward the achievements of medical researchers whose work contributes significantly to improving the quality of human life. Since then the Gairdner Awards have become Canada's foremost international award on medical research.

About the Graham Boeckh Foundation
The Graham Boeckh Foundation (GBF) is a private foundation created by J. Anthony Boeckh and his family to fund initiatives in the area of mental health and other related disciplines.

Note to the Editor

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) believes mental health is an integral and essential component of health and defines health as "A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."2
  • The WHO predicts that by 2020 depression alone will be the second leading cause of illness and disability after heart disease. As such, the majority of Quebecers will one day be affected by mental illness, either directly (their own) or indirectly (relative, friend or co-worker).
  • It is estimated that of those with mental illness in the last year only, approximately 9.6 per cent sought medical attention for their disorders.4

REFERENCES
______________________

1 Health Canada. Healthy Living: Mental Health. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/mental/index-eng.php. Accessed May 2011.
2 World Health Organization. Mental Health: strengthening our Response Key Facts. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs220/en/. Accessed May 2011
3 Canadian Collaborative Mental Health Initiative.  http://www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/sujets/prob_sante/sante_mentale/index.php?comprendre_et_prevenir_en.  Accessed May 2011.
4 Canadian Collaborative Mental Health Initiative.  Prevalence of Mental Illnesses and Related Service Utilization
in Canada: An Analysis of the Canadian Community Health Survey http://www.ccmhi.ca/en/products/documents/09_Prevalence_EN.pdf.  Accessed May 2011.

SOURCE The Gairdner Foundation

For further information:

Jacqueline Zonneville
NATIONAL Public Relations
416-848-1398
jzonneville@national.ca

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