RBC donates $2 million to paediatric mental health at SickKids

    TORONTO, June 21 /CNW/ - The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) will
be furthering much-needed training, research and outreach into paediatric
mental health thanks to a $2 million commitment today from RBC. Today's
official announcement is part of a week-long employee celebration of RBC
"Putting Communities FIRST," that this evening will see hundreds of committed
RBC employees walking five kilometres to SickKids in support of the hospital.
    This $2 million gift from the RBC Foundation will allow SickKids to share
critical knowledge with remote communities and focus on advanced training
opportunities in clinical research through fellowships while providing seed
funding for new research opportunities.
    "Our ultimate goal is to find the causes of behavioural and emotional
problems affecting children and adolescents in order to sharpen our treatment
interventions. Our hope is that greater knowledge will reduce stigma and help
improve long-term outcomes for children and youth," said Abel Ickowicz,
Psychiatrist-in-Chief at SickKids. "Research and innovation is critical to
open up the dialogue with all of our communities to share critical information
and improve access to care for all children and their families."
    Mental health issues are the leading health problems that Canadian
children currently face after infancy. One in six Canadians is affected by
behavioural or emotional problems severe enough to impact their quality of
life and the lives of their family. Without effective prevention or treatment,
these problems often lead to distress into adulthood.
    "This gift recognizes the importance of investing in children's mental
health today, so that we can make the adult health system more sustainable in
the future," Dr. Ickowicz added.
    The announcement will be made on the hospital lawn at 555 University
Avenue around 6:15 p.m. today at the conclusion of the 20th Annual RBC
SickKids Walkathon.
    "RBC is proud to be putting communities first," said Jennifer Tory, RBC
Regional President, Greater Toronto Region. "We've partnered with SickKids for
the past 20 years because we know it is vitally important for the future well
being of our children. SickKids is known for its research discoveries, and we
are excited about the possibilities of this gift and its impact on the
communities where our employees live and work."

    This gift will impact three key areas in paediatric mental health:

    1.  RBC Mental Health Knowledge Exchange Program - The creation of an
        education network based on existing tele-psychiatry infrastructure in
        Ontario. Its purpose is to support knowledge exchange through
        professional development and public education forums. By increasing
        knowledge among front-line caregivers and parents, our communities
        will have increased capacity to care for children with mental health
        problems. A national conference/symposium will also encourage best
        practices in tele-health education.

    2.  RBC Fellows Fund in Mental Health Research - The creation of a fund
        to support four fellowships in mental health research per year to
        advance the training opportunities in this field.

    3.  RBC Seed Fund for Mental Health Research - The creation of a seed
        fund to be allocated through the scientific review process
        established by the SickKids Psychiatry Department. A minimum of two
        projects will be funded each year.

    About RBC
    RBC believes in building prosperity by contributing to the communities in
which we live and work. We are now one of Canada's largest corporate donors,
and we support a broad range of community initiatives, through donations,
sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2006 RBC contributed more
than $83 million to community causes worldwide. As a founding member of
Imagine Canada, RBC is committed to donating at least one per cent of our
average annual net income before taxes.

    About SickKids Foundation
    SickKids Foundation was established in 1972 and is celebrating its
35-year anniversary. Its mission is to inspire its communities to invest in
health and scientific advances to improve the lives of children and their
families in Canada and around the world. Its vision is "Healthier children. A
better world."
    In addition to its support of The Hospital for Sick Children, the
Foundation has a mandate to support children's health on a national basis.
SickKids Foundation invests $4 million annually across Canada in paediatric
research, focusing on issues important to children's health which have not
been addressed elsewhere.

For further information:

For further information: Lori Gilis, Public Affairs, SickKids
Foundation, w: (416) 813-6166 ext. 2040, c: (416) 414-5808, Email:
lori.gilis@sickkidsfoundation.com; Alexis Mantell, Communications Manager,
Greater Toronto Region, RBC, w: (416) 974-4796, c: (416) 819-6978, Email:

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