An Anonymous Donor Gave $100 Million To Canada's Largest Mental Health Hospital

"We're humbled by this phenomenal act of generosity, courage, trust, foresight and leadership."

Canada's largest mental health hospital, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, has received an unprecedented $100 million donation from an anonymous donor. The donation is by far the largest ever given to a mental health hospital in the country and one only a handful of other Canadian health organizations have ever received, according to The Star. 

Mental illness affects more than 6.7 million Canadians. "By the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 have – or have had – a mental illness," according to CAMH. Worldwide, one in four people will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. According to the World Health Organization, "Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide."

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The $100 million donation will hopefully accelerate CAMH's efforts to transform the lives of Canadian people who live with mental illness. 

"Complex problems need complex solutions. We need to invest in the fundamental research and the clinical innovation that will improve the health of individuals and populations, locally, nationally and globally. This gift will make that a reality," says Dr. Catherine Zahn, CAMH's president and CEO said in a press release.

The gift will be used to create a Discovery Fund.

The fund will enable Canada's largest mental health hospital to support next-generation scientists who are conducting research aimed at transforming care, foster innovation focused on predicting and preventing the disease, and invest in data and analytics. 

"I believe CAMH is well-positioned to make a transformational impact in the field of mental health research," the donor, who insisted on anonymity, said in a press release. "I have seen the devastating impact of mental illness on individuals and their families; I want to provide support to the next generation of researchers and scientists to pursue the research that will directly transform care. In order to enable quantum leaps forward, this gift will also support high-risk, high-reward research." 

Cover image via Pressmaster / Shutterstock.com

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