Douglas Mental Health University Institute - Foundation


The Douglas Mental Health University Institute Foundation is a nonprofit organization that offers seeks donations for the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. The Douglas Institute is the second largest mental health research center in Canada. With the support of the Foundation, it is better able to carry out its mission: care for patients with mental illness, research into neuroscience to uncover the causes of mental illness and improve treatments, and knowledge transfer between practitioners in the mental health field. The Foundation’s most recent contribution was towards a $20 million brain imaging center that will open in 2011. It also funds the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center. As much as the Institute relies upon the Foundation’s support, the Foundation remains an independent public organization.

The Douglas Institute Foundation was created in 1972. Its mandate was to collect and manage donations through the help of volunteers. Today, the Foundation is led and supported by a Board of Directors made up of 24 members who are elected at the Foundation's annual public assembly.

As Dr. Gustavo Turecki says "The big difference at the Douglas Institute is that clinicians are also researchers." The Institute is unique in the collaborative and comprehensive approach of its 67 researchers and practitioners that includes prevention, treatment, and public intervention. The Institute houses ongoing studies about the genetic component of mental illness and the environmental triggers, that, when combined with a certain genetic predisposition, can make certain individuals more vulnerable. When an illness manifests itself, sufferers and family members are able to seek specialized treatment and support at the Institute, whether through an initial diagnosis at its own emergency room or by referral from a healthcare professional. To further develop understanding of mental disorders, the Institute studies public access to and usage of available resources so that these can be improved and mental illness better treated and prevented.

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