About Us

Mental Health Research Canada is a dedicated group of professionals, accomplished in mental health research and philanthropy. Our focus is coast to coast to coast,
supporting Canadians where ever they live.

Who We Are

Our staff and Board of Directors bring a wealth of experience, including management of the Ontario Mental Health Foundation, to guide the work of Mental Health Research Canada. We are equally guided by the experts who sit on our panels that review, rank and make recommendations on the many qualified applications we receive. We are a member of the International Alliance of Mental Health Funders and MHRC will continue to actively create partnerships with other dynamic organizations.

MHRC is committed to gender parity and geographical diversity in the composition of our board. Currently, 25% of our members are women. By the end of October 2018, three new female members will be appointed, representing 40% of the board. By no later than spring 2019, our board will achieve gender parity, if not greater. We will continually balance the composition of our board to reflect our ongoing commitment to gender parity and geographical diversity in our work to improve the lives of all Canadians.

What We Do

We fund outcomes-based mental health research.

We fund diverse research projects that encompass bio-medical to psycho-social approaches, as part of our goal of improving mental health for all. We strongly believe that without mental health, there is no health. In the last decade, Mental Health Research Canada and its predecessor (the Ontario Mental Health Foundation) provided $34 million in funding to 332 researchers.

We build our nation's capacity in mental health research.

We are building a community of world-class mental health researchers nation-wide – by helping our academic institutions to attract and retain both established and emerging investigators. We are especially pleased to be able to fund emerging researchers, who have limited access to funding opportunities that will allow them to develop their skills early in their career.

We manage the research process of our funding partners.

We partner with individuals and organizations that have the funds to investigate a mental health issue, but not the expertise. We manage the entire research process – from helping to shape the research question and consequently the research proposal, to setting up a panel of experts to peer-review all submissions, to administering the funds to selected investigators.

Our Financial Statement

For information on the financial position of Mental Health Research Canada as at March 31, 2018,
see the Auditor’s Independent Report.

Our History

MENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH CANADA officially opens its doors on April 1, 2018, building on the Ontario Mental Health Foundation’s 55-year legacy. 

2018: The Ontario Mental Health Foundation closes its doors on March 31, 2018.

2015: Collaborated with five Canadian mental health research funders to fund the first Canada-wide project on valid, reliable performance indicators for Canadian mental health services – critical for improving the performance of mental health care systems. Rand Europe identified the OMHF as the sixth most productive funder of mental health research in Canada and in the top 100 worldwide.

2014: Became a member of the International Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders.

2013: Dr. Jeff Daskalakis, a long-time OMHF-funded researcher, received the Dr. Samarthji Lal award from the Graham Boeckh Foundation. The award honours a Canadian researcher in the area of psychiatry, with a focus on major mental disorders, who is mid-career and making an outstanding contribution to the field.

2012: Dr. Heather Stuart, a past OMHF funded researcher and current OMHF board member, became the world’s first Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair.

2005: Founding partner and oversaw a multi-year research project, System Enhancement Evaluation Initiative (SEEI), to evaluate the outcome of increased funding for community mental health programs.

2004: Supported (with Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care) a multi-year project to address the issue of women and depression.

2001: Developed a Special Initiatives Program that supported large-scale projects to generate discoveries in therapies for psychotic illnesses. Funded three multi-year projects solely: Epigenetics of Schizophrenia, Dr. Arturas Petronis; Decoding Schizophrenia, Dr. Sajit Kapur; and Early Intervention in Schizophrenia, Dr. Jean Addington.

Click here for further History

1997: Partnered in and oversaw a five-year, multi-site project, Community Mental Health Evaluation Initiative, to evaluate aspects of Ontario’s community mental health system – the most significant body of research on community mental health carried out in Ontario.

1990: Planned, managed and funded the first Ontario Mental Health Survey. Also created and funded special grant competition for applications to analyze the survey’s results.

1981: Set up Peer Review Committees for grants and fellowships, to review applications for scientific merit and relevance.

1976: Received $600,000 in funding from the Ontario Lottery.

1975: Sponsored scientific cluster meetings in abnormal child development, affective disorders, schizophrenia, and evaluation of the mental health care delivery system.

1973: Commissioned a feasibility study of promising areas of mental health research.

1972: Funded and published an Annual Register of Mental Health Research to highlight the work being done in Ontario and underresearched areas.

1968: Provided funding support to mental health scientists fleeing Czechoslovakia.

1966: Established the Travelling Fellowship program.

1964: Established the Research Associateship (Senior Fellowship) and Educational Associateship (Research Training Fellowship) programs.

1963: Created a separate corporation to operate a psychiatric institution – the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in honour of Dr. C.K. Clarke. Awards granted for first time: $328,000 ($2.4 million in 2015) for 33 researchers.

1962: A Special Act of the Ontario Legislature establishes the Ontario Mental Health Foundation, led by Justice Arthur Kelly, who made a sizable donation to the OMHF.

In Crisis?

Please call 1-833-456-4566,
text 45645, or visit www.crisisservicescanada.ca

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