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Driving innovation in research for mental health with CAMH 

October 11, 2023 | Giving and sponsorships

BMO marked World Mental Health Day with a $5 million donation to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto. The donation will support independent research in CAMH’s Krembil Centre for Neuroinformatics (KCNI) and help build a new leading Research & Discovery Centre, which is set to begin construction in 2024.  

In any given year, one-in-five Canadians experience a mental illness and by the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, one-in-two have or have had, a mental illness. In Canada, more than 6.7 million people currently struggle with mental illness, making it the leading cause of disability – preventing nearly 500,000 employed Canadians from attending work each week. Alarming statistics like these highlight the need to take action.  

As a Purpose-driven organization, BMO believes that mental health and wellbeing of our employees, our customers and our communities is essential to a thriving economy. That is why we continue to partner with leading organizations to advance mental health awareness, reduce the stigma, and drive meaningful change. 

Together with CAMH, BMO’s donation will help people living with mental illness by accelerating research and access to world-class mental health care through four strategic priorities: neuroinformatics, digital health innovation, education, and research.  The KCNI collaborates globally to collect and integrate large-scale brain research data, applying machine learning and mathematics, to develop models that can transform the understanding of brain disorders. 

“There is an urgent need for significant investment in mental health research – including new models of care that increase access and eliminate inequities – to ensure people get the help they deserve. BMO has a long-standing legacy of supporting community organizations and funding mental health. We are proud to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life and work with partners like CAMH to make progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society.”

– Sharon Haward-Laird
Group Head & General Counsel and Executive Champion of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

“We are grateful to BMO for their continued support of CAMH and life-saving mental health research. Philanthropic commitments from leading organizations like BMO show Canadians and people living with mental illness around the world that they are seen, they are valued and they are not alone in their recovery.”

– Deborah Gillis
President & CEO, CAMH Foundation 

To learn more on the importance of corporate donations in support of mental health research and the research being done at KCNI, check out the video below.

BMO has proudly supported CAMH with over $10 million in gifts since 1985. ​In 2020, BMO partnered with CAMH to launch the first-of-its-kind Workplace Mental Health Playbook for Business Leaders and later participated in developing the supplement resource titled Navigating the New Normal: A COVID-19 Supplement to CAMH’s Mental Health Playbook for Business Leaders.​ 

Over the last decade, BMO has contributed more than $23 million to enable access to mental health care programming, infrastructure and research in Canada. ​This includes supporting the important work of mental health and wellness organizations such as The Royal Ottawa, Kids Help Phone, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Royal Columbian Hospital, Douglas Institute, Fondation Jeunes en tête, Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia and many more.

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