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RBC recognizes Mental Health Week with $1.5 million commitment

TORONTO, May 5, 2009 — To commemorate Mental Health Week in Canada, RBC today launched the RBC Children's Mental Health Project, a multi-year philanthropic commitment to support early intervention and public education programs in Canada. In 2009, the company will donate $1.5 million to community-based and hospital programs that will improve the health and well-being of Canadian children.

"One in five Canadians will experience mental illness during their lifetime, and many of these disorders begin in childhood or adolescence," said Dr. David Wolfe, RBC chair in Children's Mental Health at the Child Youth and Family Program at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health. "If the signs of mental illness are recognized and addressed early on, many children can lead normal and productive lives. That's why funding dedicated to early intervention, such as that being offered by RBC, is so important."

"It is unacceptable that many Canadian children who need mental health services never receive them, and that it's often the social stigma associated with mental illness that prevents family members from seeking treatment," said Gordon M. Nixon, RBC president and CEO. "The cost of mental illness to our healthcare system is in the neighbourhood of $8 billion, but the emotional toll it takes on families can be incalculable. We are determined to help reduce the stigma of mental illness through the programs that we support."

So far in 2009, RBC has funded 15 community-based and hospital programs across Canada dedicated to early intervention and public education, totalling just over $1 million. The remaining $500,000 in grants will be announced in October 2009, and applications for funding are welcome.

RBC believes in building prosperity by contributing to the communities in which we live and work. As one of Canada's largest corporate donors, RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives, through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. RBC contributed $99 million to community causes worldwide in 2008, through donations of more than $51.5 million, and an additional $47.5 million in sponsorship of community events.

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Media contact:
Jackie Braden, 416-974-2124


 


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05/05/2009 09:02:45