Anonymous donor gives $500,000 to support UAlberta CASA Research Chair in Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Community steps up to put families at the core of mental health research so that healthy kids can become healthy adults.

NEWS STAFF - 26 April 2018

CASA Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health recently received $500,000 from an anonymous donor as well as $50,000 from the Edmonton Public School Board to support the new CASA Research Chair in Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

"These are among the first donations made towards this new initiative and CASA is incredibly grateful to have such extraordinary community support," said Dr. Denise Milne, CEO of CASA and CASA Foundation.

Milne said the community's financial support of the CASA Research Chair will help find answers to many questions. "What kind of treatment works and for whom? How does a certain treatment work? What are the best ways for people to access this care? Who should deliver treatment? What do families value in their care? By understanding these issues, we'll be able to make improvement to the care we provide, and consequently to family and child outcomes."

The CASA Research Chair is a partnership with the Department of Psychiatry in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta, aiming to improve the lives of children and youth with mental health and addictions challenges within Alberta. The 10-year agreement will enable the CASA Chair to help drive community-focused research and apply evidence-based findings to front-line care.

#GetLoud: Mental Health Awareness Week is May 7 to 13, 2018

Every May for the past 66 years, Canadians have rallied around the Canadian Mental Health Association Mental Health Week, to break the stigma that comes with mental health issues and disorders. According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, an estimated 1.2 million children and youth in Canada are affected by mental illness-yet less than 20 per cent will receive appropriate treatment. By age 25, approximately one in five or 20 per cent of Canadians will have developed a mental illness.

"There is a need for research with the specific focus on our younger generations because they should not be diagnosed and treated the same way as adults," said Dr. Xin-Min Li, the chair of U of A's Department of Psychiatry in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

"It's truly important to address these issues early on in life because we don't want our children to take these issues into adulthood," said Milne. "It impacts their employment, relationships and choices they make. We need to be able to provide mental health treatment to our kids at a younger age in order to support them through their challenges and struggles. This will enable them to have healthy and productive lives as adults.