Saskatchewan

Philanthropists give $3M for Saskatoon mental health centre

A proposed mental health centre in Saskatoon is one step closer to reality Wednesday thanks to a $3 million donation from Irene and Leslie Dube.

A proposed mental health centre in Saskatoon is one step closer to reality Wednesday thanks to a $3 million donation from Irene and Leslie Dube.

The money from the Saskatoon philanthropistsis the largest ever single donation to a hospital in Saskatchewan.

The Dubes, who launched the Concord group of companies more than four decades ago, said they made the donation to help replace the Royal University Hospital's existing mental ward, which they called stark and depressing.

At the announcement, Irene Dube discussed her own battle with depression.

"No one is immune to mental illness. I am grateful for the help I received," she said. "Les and I believe this centre is long overdue. It is urgently needed."

The Irene and Leslie Dube Centre for Mental Health will be built along the banks of the South Saskatchewan River.

It will provide more beds than the current facility, including a separate wing for children and teens.

The province has pledged to contribute $13 million to the project. The centre is set to open in the spring of 2009.

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