The Invest in Healthy Minds Capital Campaign for the Douglas Institute – the largest capital campaign for mental health ever deployed in Quebec – officially entered its public phase on Wednesday, October 9th during a special lunch ceremony. The campaign has to-date raised $ 13 million of its target $ 20 million.

The Douglas Institute and Foundation have embarked on this campaign “to help speed up discoveries in mental health, thereby improving treatments and making prevention of certain illnesses more feasible,” said Marie Giguère, Executive Vice President of Legal Affairs & Secretariat at Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, and President of the Douglas Institute Foundation’s Board of Directors.

“Particularly, the campaign focuses on the Douglas’ clinical and research excellence in 5 key areas: Alzheimer’s Disease, youth, mood disorders, eating disorders, and improving access to care. Wherever possible, we want to support research and programs that encourage early intervention, prevention, personalized treatment, and speedier recovery,” added Joseph Iannicelli, Chief Executive Officer of Banyan Work Health Solutions Inc., and Campaign Co-Chair.

“Bell is very proud to support the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and the work of its world-renowned team through our $2 million Bell Let’s Talk gift to the Douglas-Bell Canada Brain Bank,” said Martine Turcotte, Bell’s Vice Chair, Québec. “By supporting the Institute’s Invest in Healthy Minds Capital Campaign, we can all help accelerate research that will lead to improved understanding and treatment of mental illness.”

Also, the Douglas Institute and the Jewish General Hospital have had the honor to accept a major donation of $4.5 million from the Irving Ludmer Family Foundation. This donation, one of the largest ever in mental health, will go towards creating a centre for neuroinformatics and mental health. Its ultimate goal will be to significantly reduce the rates of mental illness by finding scientific methods to establish early childhood risk factors.

Lynne McVey, RN, M.Sc., CEO and Executive Director of the Douglas Institute, expressed that “donations to the campaign are essential. For a long time, the Douglas has participated in significant advances in the understanding of mental illness, and these donations allow us to continue making further advances that will lead to new discoveries.”

But, guests did not leave until they got to take part in a piece of Douglas history – leaving their mark on two large 12ft X 12ft canvases under the guidance of renowned artist-sculptor Mr. Armand Vaillancourt.

Mr. Vaillancourt, who had originally started these canvases with children and adolescents of the Douglas’ day hospital, animated Wednesday’s event as guests completed them. The two paintings will be hung up in very prominent places on campus as a testament to the generosity and dedication of donors and volunteers who have made this campaign possible.

See the photos

Photo (from left): François L. Morin, President of the Board of Directors of the Douglas Institute’s Research Centre; Marie Giguère, President of the Douglas Foundation’s Board of Trustees; Suzanne Fortier, PhD, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University.; artist-sculptor Armand Vaillancourt; Caroline Iannicelli, Foundation volunteer; Joseph Iannicelli, Co-Chair of the Invest in Healthy Minds Campaign; Martine Turcotte, Vice-Chair for Québec at Bell; Ashley Tritt, Master of Ceremonies and Foundation volunteer; Lynne McVey, RN, M.Sc., CEO and Executive Director of the Douglas Institute.