Royal mental health centre closing in on $25M fundraising goal

Ottawa's Royal mental health centre is less than a million dollars away from successfully finishing its $25 million dollar Campaign for Mental Health, it announced Monday morning.

All 76 physicians donate a combined million dollars toward goal

Five of the Royal's physicians including Dr. Alain Labelle, centre, announce Monday that all 76 of them have donated a combined $1 million to their health centre's Campaign for Mental Health. (CBC)

Ottawa's Royal mental health centre is less than a million dollars away from successfully finishing its $25 million dollar Campaign for Mental Health, it announced during its annual breakfast Monday morning.

The health centre launched its $25 million Campaign for Mental Health in 2010 and with a $1 million combined donation from all of its 76 physicians, is about $800,000 away from reaching its goal, said the acting president and CEO of its foundation.

"We're really excited to be crossing the finish line to our most ambitious campaign to date," said Nancy Stanton.

Nancy Stanton, the acting president and CEO of the Royal's foundation, says they're about $800,000 shy of their $25 million fundraising goal. (CBC)

"It's important to us to look at what would be the treatment of the future. It's important to look also at research," said Dr. Alain Labelle, chair of the group of physicians who donated what averages out to more than $13,000 each.

"In order to have the campaign be successful we knew that we had to chip in." 

Stanton said $18 million of the $25 million will go to research, including a cutting-edge brain imaging machine that few other health centres in the world currently have.

Still, she said the end of this campaign doesn't mean their fundraising will be done for good.

"We need to get to where cancer and heart disease are now," she said.

"People are getting better because they've had 40 and 50 years of incredible research. Mental health needs to be the same thing."

Daniel Alfredsson has been campaigning for the Royal since 2008. (CBC)

Former Ottawa Senators captain and recently-named Senators senior advisor of hockey operations Daniel Alfredsson, who has been campaigning with the Royal since 2008, also spoke at the breakfast about what he's seen in the years since then.

"The way I've seen it, especially here in Ottawa, people are very supportive of this cause now. You take that first step, people are just going to help you," he said in an interview.

"We still don't know enough about it, there's no 'take this pill and you're fine,' it's still a lot of trying methods out but what I feel I can do the most is [say] 'I'm not ashamed of it, I would never be ashamed to be associated with somebody with mental illness.'"


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