GreeneStone Healthcare, a provider of mental health services, announced today that it will be joining a growing number of companies that have taken up the cause of supporting those who have mental illnesses. The company will establish a charitable foundation to support those with mental health issues and substance abuse problems.
Although often invisible, mental illness is one of the most pervasive health issues in Canada with far-reaching consequences. One in five people will experience some form of mental illness, but most will be reluctant to talk to a co-worker, friend, or family member about their struggle, let alone seek treatment. The list of companies that are building awareness and raising funds to support mental health continues to grow and includes major corporations such as Bell Canada.
"Since 2006, we have seen a major drive in Canada to raise awareness of mental health concerns. Mental issues have been stigmatized for too long, and the kinds of campaigns that are being created, such as Bell's 'Let's Talk' campaign, are bringing this issue into the light of day. We want our foundation to move beyond education and provide practical support for those that suffer," stated Shawn Leon, CEO of GreeneStone Healthcare Corp.
GreeneStone is focused on the behavioral treatment sector in Canada, a segment of the healthcare industry that has been well developed in the US but remains in its early stages in Canada. With increased interest from private equity acquirers in recent history, the behavioral treatment sector has moved away from the periphery. Acquirers like Bain Capital and Elements Behavioral have clearly demonstrated the attractiveness of companies that can execute on the operational side in this underserviced market.
Approximately two years ago, Bell launched an unprecedented multi-year charitable program for the promotion and support of mental health. Over the next several years, this multi-million dollar initiative is anticipated to support a wide range of programs that will enhance awareness, understanding, and treatment of mental illness as well as promote access to care and research across the country.
Other companies with prominent contributions to the mental health cause include the following:
Intervention Canada (Shaw Media - Slice Network) - Intervention Canada profiles individuals who suffer from drug dependencies or other compulsive behaviours and the resulting personal crisis that has arisen from it. The Canadian series comes after the multiple Emmy-nominated U.S. series broke ground with its shocking look at the problem of addiction. The show brings to light many mental health issues that have for too long gone unnoticed by the public eye.
"Transforming Lives" (Center for Addiction and Mental Health) - "Transforming Lives" is an awareness campaign that focuses on personal stories of Ontarians' experiences with addiction and mental illness. Both celebrities and non-celebrities have profiled their struggles overcoming addictions and mental illness. Every two years, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (OTC:CAMH) Foundation honours extraordinary people who have overcome or are overcoming the challenges of living with mental illness and/or addiction and now serve as models of hope and inspiration to others.
The Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health (Canada Post): The Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health raises awareness about mental illness and helps front-line, grassroots organizations. Since its formation in October 2007, the foundation has delivered more than $4.6 million in grants to almost 100 organizations in Canada.
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