March 01, 2005

$20 Million for Research

Last week it was announced by the University of British Columbia (Canada) that an anonymous donor has given the University $10 million to kick-start a new $20-million Institute of Mental Health.

The donation, along with a $10-million matching donation from the provincial government, will make UBC a world leader in the prevention and treatment of mental illness, UBC president Martha Piper said in a prepared statement.

Mental health has for too long been the "orphan" of Canada's health-care system, even though depression ranks only second to heart disease as a leading cause of disability, Piper told a news conference.

“The generosity of this very special friend of UBC will give a very special impetus to research into illnesses that impact all of our families and all of our communities,” said UBC president Martha Piper.

With the $20 million, UBC plans to:

Create three $5-million endowments to support research chairs in child and adolescent psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry and depression, and psychotherapy.

Use the $5-million balance for fellowships, junior faculty positions, and support for communicating research and clinical findings to clinicians and mental health professionals.

The $20-million investment will provide the UBC Institute of Mental Health with three $5-million research chairs in child and adolescent psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry and depression, and psychotherapy.

The new chairs will join a team of scientists and academic clinicians already in place thanks to funding from such sources as the provincial Leading Edge Endowment Fund and the federal Canada Research Chairs program, said Department of Psychiatry Head Prof. Athanasios Zis.

“Today’s announcement,” said Zis, “creates a unique cascade of opportunities, not only in leading edge research, but also in the training of clinicians and the development of innovative treatments that will benefit all Canadians.”

The UBC Institute of Mental Health will reside in the faculty of medicine's department of psychiatry, and will become one of only three mental health centres of excellence in Canada.

Dr. John Ogrodniczuk, assistant professor of psychiatry at UBC, said the institute is required because there is a "dearth" of research into child, adolescent and geriatric psychiatry.

Funding has typically been more available for research into the biological roots of mental illness, including genetics or neural transmission.

"This gift is not intended to further develop a neuro-science approach. It's more focused toward the psycho-social aspects."

More information:

Announcement of $20 Million for Mental Illness

CBC Canada News on the $20 Million for Mental Illness Research


I am interesting in conducting research on psychological and psycho-social treatments for schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. Do you have a document regarding the proicess of making an application?

Posted by: carol battaglio at March 13, 2006 12:46 PM

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