CAMH plans a new R&D centre for mental health
February 8, 2023
TORONTO – A $50-million gift from Orlando Corporation, the largest corporate donation in CAMH’s history, will support the creation of a Research & Discovery Centre at the hospital. As part of this gift, Orlando Corp. will match every donation directed towards the Research & Discovery Centre up to $20 million.
With 385,000 square feet of collaborative space, the Research & Discovery Centre will unite CAMH’s research programs under one roof, supercharge collaboration, revolutionize our understanding of the brain, spur and accelerate new discoveries that transform the future of mental health, and most importantly, inspire hope for those living with mental illness.
“Science is an international pursuit and CAMH attracts scientists from around the world. A new Research & Discovery Centre with state-of-the-art facilities will allow us to attract even more by an order of magnitude,” said Dr. Aristotle Voineskos (pictured), Vice-President, Research, CAMH.
“The symbolism of it is important, too,” added Dr. Voineskos. “Mental health is the greatest cause of our time and we need an investment commensurate with the scale of the problems we are trying to solve. We want people to walk by the CAMH campus and say ‘Wow!’ This is where ground-breaking research is happening to solve the biggest challenges in mental health, that impact so many around the world.”
As a magnet for recruiting and retaining the world’s top talent, the Research & Discovery Centre will be home to more than 2/3 of CAMH’s more than 1,400 research staff, and could increase the number of research scientists, staff, students and trainees by 43%. Patients and families will have safe, dignified spaces to participate in research studies, and proximity to patient care areas will enable new discoveries to be seamlessly and rapidly put into practice to improve people’s lives.
Designed by KPMB Architects and TreanorHL, the Research & Discovery Centre will have a focus on sustainability with LEED Platinum certification and a wood timber curvilinear structure to reduce carbon footprint. More than a building, it will serve as a focal point for the community and a beacon of hope for people living with mental illness around the world.
As well, this week the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) announced the No One Left Behind campaign. With a goal to raise $500 million, No One Left Behind is the world’s largest fundraising campaign to support hospital-based mental health research. Philanthropic donations to the campaign will support life-saving mental health research programs at CAMH, including the construction of the new Research & Discovery Centre at CAMH’s Queen Street site in Toronto.
“The physical transformation of our Queen Street West site is turning what was once a walled institution into a symbol of hope for the future of mental health care. With the construction of the Research & Discovery Centre, we can continue to be at the forefront of research discoveries and developments that will improve the lives of those living with mental illness, because mental health is health,” said Sarah Downey, President & CEO, CAMH.
Raising half a billion dollars doesn’t happen overnight, and No One Left Behind is launching with generous gifts and pledges from donors who share CAMH’s belief that mental health is health. To date, more than $400 million in donations and pledges have been raised since the beginning of the campaign’s quiet phase in 2018.
Since its establishment in 1998, CAMH has undertaken a historic redevelopment of its spaces and places, a journey that has been powered by philanthropy. As demand for mental health care surges, there is an urgent need to find new ways of diagnosing mental illness sooner, providing personalized treatments, and preventing mental illness altogether.
“Orlando Corporation has made this gift because we firmly believe in a future where no one is left behind. Mental health is the most important health issue of our lifetime and we are confident that the CAMH Research & Discovery Centre will allow us to address this crisis head on and accelerate the life-saving work CAMH is already doing. We truly do see this building as a global beacon of hope for people living with mental illness – and the work that happens there will have a profound impact on millions of people around the world,” said Blair Wolk, President, Orlando Corporation.