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Great-West Life commits $700,000 toward PET/MRI Brain Imaging Technology to advance mental health research and treatment at The Royal

New technology to be first of its kind dedicated to mental illness

OTTAWA, Feb. 28, 2014 /CNW/ - Great-West Life has committed $700,000 to support The Royal's Campaign for Mental Health seeking acquisition of PET/MRI Brain Imaging Technology, helping The Royal further advance mental health research and treatment in Canada.

"PET/MRI Brain Imaging Technology will transform the way major mental illness is diagnosed and treated by mapping the changes in brain activity," said Dr. Zul Merali, President and CEO of The Royal's Institute of Mental Health Research. "This equipment will be the first of its kind in Canada dedicated to illnesses of the brain."

View video on PET/MRI Brain Imaging Technology.

"In the course of providing services to millions of Canadians each year, we see the significant negative impacts of mental health issues on a daily basis. Addressing the need for more effective treatment and better outcomes is a goal we passionately support," said Dave Johnston, President and Chief Operating Officer for Great-West Life. "The Royal has long demonstrated leadership in this regard. They are breaking new ground in mental health research. This new commitment builds on our previous support and their efforts to help more people be well."

Since 2005, including this recent commitment, Great-West Life has contributed a total of $1.5 million in support of mental health research and treatment to The Royal. This includes:

  • Helping to fund a world class research laboratory at The Royal.
  • As a founding sponsor in the creation of the Canadian Depression Research and Intervention Network (CDRIN). Spearheaded by Dr. Merali, CDRIN is the first Pan Canadian network aimed at linking the best minds in depression research and care, informed by the voice of lived experience. This collaboration will lead to better care and understanding of mental health and illness across the country.
  • Supporting the training of the next generation of clinical researchers through fellowship support to young researchers inspired to dedicate their energy and intelligence to finding new treatments for mental illness.

"Our ongoing support of The Royal complements the work of the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, as the initiatives we support at The Royal  and through the Centre all help improve the mental well-being of Canadians," Dave Johnston said. "We thank The Royal and its thought leaders for their dedication and drive to make transformative technology like PET/MRI brain imaging available here in Canada."

View video on Great-West Life's support for The Royal.

About The Royal
The Royal is one of Canada's foremost mental health care and academic health science centres. Its mandate is simple: to help more people living with mental illness into recovery faster. The Royal combines the delivery of specialized mental health care, advocacy, research and education to transform the lives of people with complex and treatment resistant mental illness. The Royal's Research Institute is proudly affiliated with the University of Ottawa. The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health raises funds that support The Royal's work while placing a sharp focus on awareness building through the You Know Who I Am campaign. For more information, please visit www.theroyal.ca.

About Great-West Life
Great-West Life offers a broad portfolio of financial and benefit plan solutions, and serves the financial security needs of more than 12 million people across Canada. Responsible and ethical management is an intrinsic value of the company and is essential to long-term profitability and value creation. As an Imagine Caring Company supporting the principles of corporate citizenship and benchmarks for community investment established by Imagine Canada, our organization donates a minimum of one per cent of average pre-tax profits to non-profit, charitable and community organizations each year. Learn more about our organization's social responsibility.

The company established the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace in 2007 as a public commitment to help employers of all types, not just its customers, address psychological health and safety in their workplaces. All of the Centre's tools and resources are available in English and French to anyone, anywhere, and at no charge at www.workplacestrategiesformentalhealth.com.

SOURCE Great-West Life Assurance Company

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