RBC Royal Bank gives large for family mental health care
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
From left: Dr. Beth Mitchell, LHSC Director, Mental Health Care Program; Jim Cassidy, Chair, LHSF; Laurie Gould, LHSC Executive VP, Patient Centred Care; Brian Henderson, RBC Regional VP, London and St. Thomas; Dale Huisman, VP RBC Dominion Securities, London and St. Thomas; Francine Dyksterhuis, RBC Regional President, Ontario South West; Adam Hopper, Vice Chair, CHF; and Gus Kostiomitis, RBC VP Commercial Banking, London and St Thomas.
LONDON, Ont. - Today, RBC President for Ontario South West, Francine Dyksterhuis announced a $1.3 million donation from RBC Royal Bank, to create the RBC Centre for At-Risk Children and Families, a new mental health care initiative at London Health Sciences Centre and Children's Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre.
"I am thrilled to announce that RBC will be able to make a marked difference in the transition for new Canadians in London," says Dyksterhuis. "Through donations like this one, RBC is supporting mental health programs and services that reduce stigma, provide early intervention, and promote the fullest recovery for Canadians of all ages who are living with mental illness."
The announcement took place in the atrium of the North Tower at LHSC's Victoria Hospital, which opened last year and is now home to many of the hospital's acute mental health care services for children, adolescents and adults. The proximity of these services in the tower has enhanced LHSC's family-centred approach to mental health, aiding both in collaboration between health care providers and a more seamless transition between programs for clients.
Adam Hopper, Vice-Chair of Children's Health Foundation cited RBC Royal Bank's ongoing generosity and their commitment to mental health care for children and their families, describing the donation as "transformational." London Health Sciences Foundation Chair Jim Cassidy noted that that many facilities like the North Tower and other health care initiatives in the region would not be possible without the foresight of individuals and organizations in the community.
"RBC Royal Bank's $1.3 million gift is an example of the outstanding support necessary to sustain and to advance the world-leading medical training, research, innovation and health care we currently enjoy in London," says Cassidy.
According to the 2006 census, London is home to people from more than 140 distinct ethno-cultural backgrounds and approximately 22 per cent of Londoners are new Canadians. Studies show that these groups face additional barriers in seeking and accessing mental health care.
This new initiative will primarily help children and their families who have witnessed or experienced fear, violence and trauma in a forced migration from their former country, and who now need to cope with the added stress of settling into a new community.
London Health Sciences Centre plans to build on the experience of other hospitals that have implemented similar initiatives, working closely with partners in the community to provide mental health care that is timely, comprehensive, culturally sensitive, integrated and compassionate. The hospital will also work with Western University to train future mental health care providers to work with people in cultural transition, as well as enhancing research into trauma and immigrant communities. Findings, experiences and best practices developed in setting up and running this initiative will be shared with other hospitals and communities throughout Canada.
"At London Health Sciences Centre, we provide acute mental health care for children, adolescents and adults, to address challenges that can arise at each stage of life," says Dr. Beth Mitchell, Director of LHSC's Mental Health Care Program. "The RBC Centre for At-Risk Children and Families will specifically focus on families experiencing issues related to cultural change and transition and enhance our model of family-centred care."
Read the greeting sent by the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.