Ottawa, Ontario (October 1, 2012) – The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, joined Tony Boeckh, Chair of the Graham Boeckh Foundation, and Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), to announce the launch of the new Patient-Oriented Network in Adolescent and Youth Mental Health.
The research network aims to improve the care provided to young Canadians with mental illness by taking research findings and using them in practice and policy. Through CIHR, the Government of Canada is supporting the network with $12.5 million, over five years. The network is a collaborative effort between CIHR and the Graham Boeckh Foundation, which is providing matching funding of $12.5 million for a total investment of $25 million.
"Our Government understands that mental health is an issue that touches us all; that's why we created the Mental Health Commission of Canada," said Minister Aglukkaq. "We all have a role to play when it comes to mental health, which is why we are pleased to have private funding from the Graham Boekch Foundation that matches the Government of Canada's investment."
The network is the first initiative under the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) – a new way of working collaboratively with the provinces and like-minded partners, in order to increase resources and support transforming the health care system. The network will unite patients, researchers, and health care providers who will work together to make sure that innovative practices, therapies and policies are taken out of the research environment and shared with the decision makers and health care providers who need them.
"The Patient-Oriented Network in Adolescent and Youth Mental Health will have a transformative impact on the care delivered to young Canadians with mental illness," said Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of CIHR. "The Network will use research evidence to develop and implement innovative practices, policies, and programs. The result will be a more a cost-effective system that produces better health outcomes for Canadians."
"Our goal," added Tony Boeckh, Chair of the Graham Boeckh Foundation, "is to improve mental health outcomes and enhance the patient experience within five years for Canadians between the ages of 11 and 25. We want to transform care by ensuring research reaches the many, not the few. This is ambitious but we are off to a running start. The next steps are to launch a search for the Chief Executive Officer of our new organization, recruit an internationally-recognized panel to oversee the selection process, and then launch the Request for Applications itself by the end of the year."
It will be important for network applicants to propose a pan-Canadian approach that will link the health care system within each province or territory, and bring together policy makers, patients, researchers, and health care providers.