Ground-breaking mental health work needs stable government funding
TORONTO, June 4, 2015 /CNW/ - The Mood Disorders Centre of Ottawa (MDCO) is delighted to have the support of respected mental health advocate Margaret Trudeau to help raise awareness about the centre's need for stable funding. Mrs. Trudeau has lauded the MDCO's pioneering research on mental health disorders and is gravely concerned that the lack of funding for research of this kind will jeopardize the MDCO's future, and that of its patients.
For the past twenty years, the MDCO has made significant contributions to understanding mood disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, and youth who exhibit suicidal behaviour. However, without longer term, stable funding, the MDCO is at risk of closing – which would be a devastating outcome for the many patients and families the MDCO serves the MDCO serves, as well as for the findings from two decades of unique investigations of children and adolescents coming from families with bipolar illness.
"When it comes to mental depression and bipolar illness, early recognition is the key to appropriate, effective treatment," said Margaret Trudeau. "Drs. Grof, Duffy and their teams have been doing outstanding and much-needed work in this area. It is exactly this type of targeted research and specialized treatment that offers the possibility for real help for many Canadians."
Dr. Anne Duffy, Associate Director of the MDCO, is grateful for Margaret Trudeau's support. "I want to thank Mrs. Trudeau for supporting the MDCO, as well as for her tireless advocacy. It is passionate activists like her that help to shine a light on the need for ongoing mental health research, and effective treatments, in Canada."
The MDCO's multidisciplinary clinical research team, led by internationally-renowned psychiatrists Dr. Paul Grof and Dr. Anne Duffy, have together developed the world's largest database of people who struggle with mental illness.
Fifty years ago, Dr. Grof began his life's work of researching, treating and advocating for better mental health care for mood disorders in Canada, including founding the MDCO. Mrs. Trudeau presented her profound thoughts on mood disorders shortly before Dr. Grof was honoured with the Mogens Schou Award for his extensive work and research in the field of psychiatry and mood disorders.
"At MDCO, clinical care has always been integrated with systematic long-term research. Effective long-term treatment markedly reduces suffering and saves lives, particularly young ones," said Dr. Paul Grof, director and one of the founders of the MDCO. "In a number of centres around the world, our work is now recognized and our findings in young people replicated. We urgently need long-term, stable funding in order to be the most help, to the most people, for years to come," he said. "At long last, society is taking note of the need for improved mental health care services in Canada. Yes, there is a gap, but with adequate funding, the MDCO can help to meet the need. We are asking for help from the provincial and federal governments to meet this urgent funding need."
The MDCO's ground-breaking research has been pivotal in clarifying how mood disorders develop in youth and creates a basis for establishing early recognition, prevention and effective treatment. These findings have received international recognition, and have been published in psychiatric journals around the world.
The Mogens Schou Awards have been a hallmark and highlight of the annual conferences of the International Conference on Bipolar Disorder (ICBD) since 2001.
SOURCE Mood Disorders Centre of Ottawa
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