RBC recognizes Mental Health Week with $1.5 million commitment

    TORONTO, May 5 /CNW/ - To commemorate Mental Health Week in Canada, RBC
today launched the RBC Children's Mental Health Project, a multi-year
philanthropic commitment to support early intervention and public education
programs in Canada. In 2009, the company will donate $1.5 million to
community-based and hospital programs that will improve the health and
well-being of Canadian children.
    "One in five Canadians will experience mental illness during their
lifetime, and many of these disorders begin in childhood or adolescence," said
Dr. David Wolfe, RBC chair in Children's Mental Health at the Child Youth and
Family Program at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health. "If the signs of
mental illness are recognized and addressed early on, many children can lead
normal and productive lives. That's why funding dedicated to early
intervention, such as that being offered by RBC, is so important."
    "It is unacceptable that many Canadian children who need mental health
services never receive them, and that it's often the social stigma associated
with mental illness that prevents family members from seeking treatment," said
Gordon M. Nixon, RBC president and CEO. "The cost of mental illness to our
healthcare system is in the neighbourhood of $8 billion, but the emotional
toll it takes on families can be incalculable. We are determined to help
reduce the stigma of mental illness through the programs that we support."
    So far in 2009, RBC has funded 15 community-based and hospital programs
across Canada dedicated to early intervention and public education, totalling
just over $1 million. The remaining $500,000 in grants will be announced in
October 2009, and applications for funding are welcome.

    RBC believes in building prosperity by contributing to the communities in
which we live and work. As one of Canada's largest corporate donors, RBC
supports a broad range of community initiatives, through donations,
sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. RBC contributed $99 million to
community causes worldwide in 2008, through donations of more than $51.5
million, and an additional $47.5 million in sponsorship of community events.

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Jackie Braden, (416) 974-2124

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