May 2016

Mental Health: Closing the Gaps

11:45am-1:30pm | The Fairmont Chateau Laurier - 1 Rideau Street, Ottawa

Now is the time for courageous leadership in mental health. The conversation has galvanized attention across the country, people with lived experience have bravely shared their stories, research into the most complex organ of the body – the brain – is reaching a tipping point, novel and improved treatments and care models are emerging. Still, too many people are not getting the care they need. Funding levels do not match the burden of illness. Wait lists continue to soar. Lives are needlessly lost. It will take a deep commitment to real transformation to effectively address the global health and economic issue of our time. 
The transformation presumes a shift in the attitudes of Canadians and in the priorities of our governments. A new Health Accord is an historic opportunity to right the wrongs of the past and eliminate prejudice and discrimination. It demands a forceful challenge to the status quo on the care and support for people with mental illness and a commitment to ignite discovery and innovation. If not now, when? If not us, who? The time for strategy is long gone. Only action will save peoples’ lives.

Dr. Catherine Zahn, C.M.

President & Chief Executive Officer
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

Dr. Catherine Zahn, C.M.

Dr. Zahn was appointed President and CEO of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in 2009. CAMH is Canada’s leading mental health hospital.

She received her MD from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto (U of T) and an MSc in Health Administration from U or T. Dr. Zahn is a Professor in the U of T Faculty of Medicine. She has made numerous contributions to health care in Ontario through her leadership in hospital integration, technology assessment and mental healthcare system improvement.

Recent honours include membership in the Order of Canada, Doctor of Laws degrees (honoris causa) from Western University, (London, Ontario) and Ryerson University, (Toronto, Ontario) and recognition as one of Canada’s 25 most influential women. The International Association of Business Communicators has also named her Communicator of the Year. She serves on a number of health-care related boards and committees, and on the Board of Governors of Upper Canada College.

Dr. Zahn is a champion for the integration of psychiatry and neuroscience, passionately working to steer mental illness into the mainstream of healthcare, promoting equitable access to healthcare resources for people with mental illness.

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