Your donations lead to better patient care, illness prevention and education, and advancement of knowledge and best practices - thereby improving the prognosis and quality of life of those with mental illness. 

Below you will find a short list of projects that the Foundation has been able to fund because of donor support:  

Advancing a Centre led by a L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science laureate

The Douglas’ Research Centre brings together some of the world’s brightest (and most cited) minds in depression, eating disorders, Alzheimer’s Disease, schizophrenia, etc. In January 2014, Professor Brigitte Kieffer, PhD, accepted to head the Research Centre as its new Scientific Director. In France, her work in genetics (specifically, identifying the gene responsible for opiate addiction) won her international recognition and made her a L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science laureate (in total, five women were selected worldwide, one from each continent). Our donors help fund Dr. Kieffer and our cutting-edge Centre. Read more

Strengthening Canada’s most advanced eating disorders program

For more than 25 years, the Douglas has been developing Canada’s most advanced eating disorders program. In addition to offering patient-centred care that is always based on the most recent research, we have discovered the specific genes that can trigger anorexia or bulimia as well as the interactions between genes and the environment. This helps tailor treatments to individual differences so that more of our patients can recover. Donations to the Douglas fund the leading-edge clinicians and researchers in eating disorders. Read more

Early Intervention in Alzheimer's for Best Outcomes

By the time a person notices memory loss, about 70% of affected brain cells are already dead, meaning it’s too late for treatment. Douglas scientists are working to get ahead of Alzheimer’s by developing ways to detect it sooner. This will lead to more timely treatment and better outcomes. They have already identified the first genetic risk factor involved in the disease and are now testing prevention factors on volunteers with a family history of Alzheimer’s. This research will help determine which strategies might benefit the wider population. Thank you to the Molson Foundation and Fondation J.-L. Lévesque for investing in the healthy aging of Canadians. Read more

Personalizing treatment for depression and preventing suicide

About 5% of Canadians suffer from clinically significant depression and up to a third will not respond after trying several medications. The Douglas possesses Canada’s only centre specializing in research on depression and suicide. It brings together researchers from various fields aiming to understand the various causes of depression – usually a combination of genetics, childhood experiences and daily stress – in order to develop individualized treatment and prevent suicide. Donations from Bell Canada, Standard Life, and Hydro-Québec helped secure $7.2 million of funding from the ministère de la santé et des services sociaux to set up the Centre. Read more

Improved access to and quality of mental health care

Thanks to a gift from the Fondation J. Armand Bombardier, Douglas researchers who study the quality of health care so as to suggest improvements will be benefiting from an endowed fellowship.

Eric Latimer, PhD, is the first selected Bombardier Fellow in the Quality of Mental Health Care. Currently, he is involved in the Mental Health Commission’s At Home/Chez Soi project as the lead national economist and lead investigator for Montréal.  Read more.

A unique service for people with chronic or recurrent depression

Thanks to you, people with recurrent or chronic depression who do not respond to medication can now have access to a long-term therapy known as vagus nerve stimulation.

The Foundation funded the purchase of a critical piece of equipment so the Douglas can offer this unique service in Québec.

Wi Care to Share

Thanks to the Gustav Levinschi Foundation, Douglas nurses will have access to a wiki website, an interactive electronic platform that will allow them to offer each other guidance and support, and to share best practices, in order to improve the quality of care given to our patients.

“Many of our young nurses do not have experience in mental health. They are eager to learn but are unprepared for the daily challenges. And, because they work different shifts from senior nurses or mentors, they sometimes do not know who to turn to for advice or guidance. This wiki platform will serve as support when a mentor is not present.” - Hélène Racine, Director of Nursing and donor

Standard Life Centre for Breakthroughs in Teen Depression and Suicide Prevention

“At the Standard Life Centre, we work with our teenage patients to establish which existing treatments are most effective for treating depression,” says Dr. Johanne Renaud, the Centre's Director and the Standard Life Senior Fellow in Teen Mental Healt. The research of Dr. Renaud and her colleagues aims to prevent depression and suicide in youth.

Standard Life has made a generous one million dollar donation to support this Centre. Read more.

Douglas-Bell Canada Brain Bank

This brain bank is the only one in Canada that collects and preserves the brains of people who suffered from mental illness (including depression, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer’s disease) as well as the brains of healthy people. It provides the global scientific community – researchers in Japan, France, the United States, etc. – valuable tissue samples of both people who had mental illness and those that did not. By comparing the two types of samples, scientists can better understand mental illnesses and improve prevention, treatment and recovery strategies. Read more.

Canoe-camping trip for adolescents 

For two years in a row, our adolescent inpatients (10 to 17 years old) will go on a nine-day canoe-camping excursion. This recreational and therapeutic trip helps our young patients learn to better manage their activities of daily living, face challenges, overcome obstacles, and improve teamwork.

Emergency fund for patients who do not have the means to pay for their medication

This support, offered to patients already followed here and those who present themselves at the emergency, allows these individuals to respect their treatment and thus avoid relapse.

Renovated Family Living Room

The family living room in the Burgess Pavilion – an inpatient unit –was completely renovated.

When families come to visit a patient who is staying at the Douglas, they will now be able to take advantage of this welcoming and friendly space – now a more appropriate environment to promote recovery. Read more.

Brain Imaging Center

The Douglas houses Québec’s first brain imaging centre dedicated entirely to mental health treatment and research. At this Centre, researchers can use an MRI brain scan to know if a certain therapy will work on a patient, thus decreasing the time it takes for that person to recover. Read more.

Resource Center for Youth Experiencing or At-Risk for Psychosis

This new lounge facility will include a library, Internet access, and a wide variety of educational materials that will assist the patients with their recovery. Read more.

Therapeutic Garden for Alzheimer`s Patients

Marc used to tend his own garden before Alzheimer's Disease forced him to abandon this small daily pleasure. In the past, he would get his hands dirty in the warm earth, plant or dig up wayward perennials, pick fresh vegetables of the day, or admire his annuals flowering in all their splendour. Read more.

Support Program for Families

The participating families will take part in sessions guided by qualified therapists, giving them the opportunity to discuss the difficulties confronting them and to find potential solutions to overcome these difficulties. This program helps families adapt to the long-term consequences of their child's psychosis through guided therapy sessions in which they discuss the difficulties they face and try to find potential solutions to them.

Neurophenotyping center to study relationship between environment and genetics in the development of mental illness

This $ 6,000,000 facility, inaugurated in 2008, will allow our researchers to determine:
- the extent to which social pressures can precipitate a depression
- how a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia can be inhibited by a nurturing environment, a good social network, etc.
- how certain environmental factors can precipitate illnesses such as Alzheimer's. Read more.

Slowing the Onset of Alzheimer's: A New Therapy Developed at the Douglas gives Hope

“This therapy seems to improve not only patients’ cognitive deficits but also their quality of life and morale. A number of participants told us that the therapy has given them hope for maintaining independence, which is an invaluable benefit.” - Céline Brunelle, a nurse clinician at the Douglas Institute Memory Clinic and co-investigator of the project. Read more.

Info-Trauma website for Victims of a Traumatic Event

The Info-Trauma website was created to demystify post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and provide a reference and diagnostic tool for victims of traumatic events, their loved ones, and health professionals. Read more.

A Gazebo for Child Patients

Between their treatment and school programs, these young patients need space and privacy to allow their self-confidence to develop. Some of them take medication which does not allow them to be exposed to direct sunlight. Thanks to the contribution of the Gustav Levinschi Foundation, the construction of a gazebo at the Stearns Pavillion will allow the young patients to safely enjoy the outdoors. Read more

Peer-Support Program

The first in Quebec. In this program, former patients that have battled mental illness offer support and mentorship to those who are currently struggling. The program is founded on the belief that people with mental illness can take an active role in developing a meaningful life, even though their illness might be serious.