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 wherever they live.

Who We Are

Our staff and our Board of Directors bring geographical diversity and 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.

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 Team

AKELA PEOPLES

Chief Executive Officer

BARBARA KELLY

Communications Coordinator

MICHELA LOMBARDI

Executive Assistant to the CEO & Research Coordinator

DIJANA TUBONJIC

Program Coordinator
(on maternity leave)

Paola Nucifora

Bookkeeper

Roxane Bouchard

Translation Support

Our Researchers

Discover the work of our 10 researchers under "Research in Progress" in OUR RESEARCH menu.

Our Board of Directors

JOHN TRAINOR, Board Chair

Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto

KEN ROSS, Chair, HR/Compensation Committee

Retired Assistant Deputy Minister, Government of New Brunswick

KATIE AUBRECHT

Assistant Professor, Sociology and Canada Research Chair in Health Equity & Social Justice, St. Francis Xavier University

LISA BROWNE

Chief Executive Officer, Stella's Circle

NADER DABBO

Director, Legal Counsel, Wal-Mart Canada Corp.

DAVID DOZOIS

Professor of Psychology and Director of the Clinical Psychology Graduate Program, Western University

DANIELLE KEMMER

Vice President, Strategy and Initiatives, Graham Boeckh Foundation

BARRY MACDOUGALL

Research Scientist, National Research Council of Canada

HEATHER STUART

Professor and Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair, Queen's University

CAROLINE TAIT

Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Saskatchewan

JIJIAN VORONKA

Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, University of Windsor

Our Financial Statement

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

Our History

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

2018: The OMHF closesd 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.

Are you in crisis?

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

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If you or your organization would like to raise funds on behalf of MHRC, please contact us at the start of your initiative!

Connect with us

40 Eglinton Avenue East
Toronto, ON  M4P 3A2
416-497-1429
1-800-969-2309
info@mhrc.ca