Did you know that:

  • 800,000 people in Québec are affected by depression and that this number represents one and a half times the population of Québec City.
  • Each year, 1,100 of them will commit suicide.
  • 30 % of patients do not adequately to anti-depressants even after several trials.
  • Any person can become ill at any time.

The Douglas takes action

Recently, the Douglas Institute Foundation joined forces with the Mental Illness Foundation and the Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital Foundation to organize the Bal des lumières, Québec's largest ever fundraising initiative in support of mental health.

This one-of-a-kind Ball was a huge success and raised over $ 1.1 million net, which is being split equally between our three Foundations.

With its share of $ 367 000, the Douglas Foundation will help advance research on mood disorders at the Douglas.

Treatment and research are inseprable

At the Douglas, world-renowned researchers from various disciplines work together to uncover the causes of depression. The cause could be different in each person. It is usually a mix between our genes, our childhood and the stress in our lives.

If they can identify the cause of depression in different individuals, they can develop personalized treatments so that almost everyone suffering would be able to recover.

Translating our results

Our researchers “take research results and translate them into clinical practice,” explains Lynne McVey, Executive Director of the Institute. This approach is called translational research. Ms. McVey also adds that the Douglas “strongly believes in this approach and hopes that the greatest number of people benefit from it.”

One Douglas team has already discovered that childhood mistreatment can cause brain changes this increase the risk that a person will attempt suicide.

As many Douglas doctors are also researchers, our patients participate in clinical research. Their treatment is constantly adjusted according to the latest findings and treatments. And, this accelerates their recovery.

Thanks to the scanners available at the Douglas’ Brain Imaging Centre, our doctors can see the prognostic of some of their patients. If they can better predict the evolution of the illness, they can intervene more adequately. This also signifies a more rapid recovery for our patients.

Without this type of research, there would be no advances in the treatment or prevention of depression, an illness that, in only seven years, will be the most wide-spread health condition in developed countries (World Health Organization).

A heartfelt thank you

The Douglas Foundation wishes to thank all sponsors, guests, donors and volunteers of the Bal des lumières. You have supported advances in the treatment and prevention of depression and your gift is an investment in healthy minds.


See photos from the Ball


Top photo (left to right): Marie Giguère, President of the Douglas Institute Foundation's Board of Trustees and Executive Vice President, Legal Affairs & Secretariat, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec; Luc Bachand, Vice-President of the Mental Illness Foundation's Board of Directors and Head of BMO Capital Markets for Quebec at Bank of Montreal; Pauline Marois, Premier of Québec; Louis Vachon, Co-President of Bal des lumières and President and Chief Executive Officer, National Bank of Canada; George Cope, Co-President of Bal des lumières and President and Chief Executive Officer, BCE and Bell Canada; Normand Brathwaite, co-host of Bal des lumières; François Castonguay, President of the Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital Foundation's Board of Directors and President and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Uniprix; Anne-Marie Withenshaw, co-host Bal des lumières; Michael Roach, President and Chief Executive Officer of CGI (replacing Serge Godin, Co-President of Bal des lumières and Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board, CGI); Geoff Molson, Co-President of Bal des lumières and Owner, President and Chief Excecutive Officer, Club de hockey Canadien, Centre Belll & evenko