Children's mental health was the theme of the Douglas Institute Foundation's 12th annual Open Minds Benefit, held March 11 at the Hilton Montréal Bonaventure.

In the presence of Ministers Yves Bolduc (Health and Social Services) and Kathleen Weil (Justice), the honorary co-presidents for the event, François Côté, President and General Manager of TELUS Health Solutions and Wayne Quigley, President and General Manager of Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, stressed the need to speak openly about mental illness and to support mental illness prevention for youth to help them develop into healthy adults.

Early intervention for a better life
Youth with mental health problems who have access to professional help are more likely to enjoy healthy and satisfying lives when they reach adulthood. A moving testimony by Nancy—the parent of a successfully treated child with ADHD—powerfully illustrated that point. Johanne Renaud, MD, MSc, FRCPC, Medical Director of the Youth Section for the Douglas Institute Depressive Disorders Program noted that today, depression can occur and is becoming more prevalent in preschool children.

Recognizing contributions by the Institute, the researchers and the media
The Minister, Mr. Bolduc, spoke of the exceptional contribution of the Douglas Institute in the field of mental health and presented a significant donation.

Charles Tisseyre and Marièle Choquette, the narrator and director, respectively, of the Radio-Canada television program Découverte described the exceptionally high number of viewers who responded to their report on attention deficit disorder in children. The programme was filmed at the Douglas Institute. Several hundred questions—for which Douglas experts provided the answers—were sent to the program’s website, along with a number of moving comments. The report dealt with this topic with tact and professionalism.. 

For the seventh consecutive year, thanks to Pfizer Canada, the Douglas Institute Foundation presented the Pfizer Heinz Lehmann Award. This year's recipient was Douglas Institute researcher Anne Crocker, PhD, Director of the Services, Policy and Population Health Research Theme and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. Ms. Crocker generously donated her award back to the Foundation.

The Douglas Institute Foundation deeply appreciates the support of its sponsors, guests and donors, and the contribution of its volunteers. With their help, $232,000 was raised. These funds will support patient care and research provided by the Douglas Institute. The Foundation, on behalf of all the children who receive treatment and their families, warmly thanks all those who contributed to making this annual event a success.

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