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About RBC > Media Newsroom > News Releases > Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital announces $1-million donation from RBC Foundation to support the hospital's Autism Research Centre

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital announces $1-million donation from RBC Foundation to support the hospital's Autism Research Centre

Ground-breaking research in autism in support of children's mental health celebrated at Holland Bloorview on World Autism Awareness Day

TORONTO, April 2, 2013 — Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital today announced a $1-million commitment from RBC Foundation to support the RBC Anxiety Management Program for Kids with Autism, which offers group-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for managing anxiety in children with autism.

Today's donation is part of RBC's recognition of World Autism Awareness Day. This ground-breaking program in support of children's mental health at Holland Bloorview was celebrated at a special luncheon, attended by some of Canada's top scientists in autism. Guests learned about the RBC Anxiety Management Program for Kids with Autism, a five-year research program, now in its second year. The program uses cognitive behavioural therapy and was developed in the 1960s and has been well-suited to addressing anxiety disorders.

"This program at Holland Bloorview has the potential to help thousands of kids with autism in Canada and worldwide. RBC is proud to make this $1-million commitment to Holland Bloorview to help improve the lives of children and families participating in the RBC Anxiety Management Program for Kids with Autism," says George Lewis, Group Head, RBC Wealth Management & Insurance. "We're committed to supporting community-based and hospital programs that reduce stigma, provide early intervention and increase public awareness about children's mental health issues."

One in 88 children is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Of those children who are diagnosed, 75 percent experience clinically significant symptoms of anxiety. The results of the RBC Anxiety Management Program for Kids with Autism in addressing this issue have been encouraging.

Heather Cook, whose 11-year-old daughter, Ava, participated in the first year of the program, shares how the program helped improve her daughter's quality of life.

"Although Ava still experiences more anxiety than the average person, the difference now is that she has a better sense of the tools and strategies she can use to address her fears. These are strategies she'll use her whole life," said Cook.

"We are grateful for RBC's support. One of the many benefits of the RBC Anxiety Management Program is training therapists from community agencies, which is helping to build much needed capacity in the community in support of kids with autism," says Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou, Co-Lead of the Autism Research Centre at Holland Bloorview. "We hope to train therapists from 10 agencies in the Greater Toronto Area by the end of the five-year program."

About Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation raises funds in the community for Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Holland Bloorview is Canada's largest children's rehabilitation teaching hospital. The hospital pioneers treatments, technologies, therapies and real-world programs that give children with disabilities the tools to participate fully in life. For more information, please visit: www.hollandbloorviewfoundation.ca  
www.changeforkids.ca

About RBC's Commitment to Community and Sustainability
Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We employ approximately 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 49 other countries. RBC is recognized among the world's financial, social and environmental leaders and is listed on the 2012 - 2013 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the DJSI North American Index, the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Index. RBC is one of Canada's Greenest Employers, one of Canada's 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations and among the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World.

RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2012, we contributed more than $95 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $64 million and $31 million in sponsorships.

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Media Contacts:
Nicole Watson, Director, Communications & Marketing
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation
416-424-3850

Gen Scott, Senior Communications Advisory
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
416-425-6220 ext.3706

André Roberts, Corporate Communications, RBC
416-974-3678