TORONTO, Oct. 21, 2016 /CNW/ - In today's digitally interconnected world, we must look to new innovations to address some of the greatest challenges of our time such as mental illness. As a strong partner at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, Canada is well-positioned to lead in the global fight against mental illness. It's why the government must move its bold innovation agenda from words to action, says APEC Digital Hub at UBC chief financial officer Phil Upshall. He called on the federal government to invest $5 million into mental health innovation in order to improve economic growth in Canada today.
"If innovation is truly to become a Canadian value, there is no better opportunity than to start with the APEC Digital Hub at UBC," says Upshall, who appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance during its 2017 pre-budget consultation.
The Hub is an important platform for Canadian scientists, innovators, businesses, industry, health institutes and governments to share knowledge, research, data, public policies and best practices while helping those suffering from mental illness and contributing to economic growth. In the process, it will be shaping mental healthcare through global science excellence and world-leading partnerships and clusters that will allow us to successfully compete in the digital world.
"World-leading clusters begin with a vision. We have it. The momentum is there. Our public policy dialogue could not be more aligned. We are seeking this early partnership to allow us to act together as catalysts in digital and global mental health innovation," Upshall told the committee. "Indeed we see no better role for the Government of Canada in support of an initiative that is vital to Canada's economic growth and to our efforts to address mental health issues at home and abroad."
With Canada's leadership, the Hub will serve as the epicentre of APEC's plan to promote mental wellness across the Asia Pacific.
About the APEC Digital Hub at UBC
APEC foreign and trade ministers unanimously endorsed the creation of an international "Digital Hub," to coordinate and promote advanced research from the world's leading universities and health institutes involved in the diagnosis, treatment and awareness of mental disorders in 2015. The University of British Columbia will host the Hub, working in collaboration with the University of Alberta and the Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC).
SOURCE Mood Disorders Society of Canada
For further information: Phil Upshall, APEC Digital Hub at UBC chief financial officer, 519-824-5565, [email protected]