Bell creates world’s first chair in anti-stigma research at Queen’s
Bell Canada and Queen’s University have announced a world-first with the establishment of a new $1-million research initiative to help fight stigma associated with mental illness.
The Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair will enable Queen’s Faculty of Health Sciences to advance its anti-stigma research, scholarship and outreach programs.
“Bell’s generous donation has allowed Queen’s to appoint a leading scholar to further this important field of study,” says Dr. Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University. “We welcome this opportunity to work with the Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative as we continue to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness; Bell has helped today to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of Canadians now and in the future.”
The first chair holder is internationally-renowned Queen’s professor of Community Health and Epidemiology Heather Stuart. As chair, Dr. Stuart will continue her multi-disciplinary work developing and disseminating best practices in stigma reduction, expand her applied research collaborations around the world and raise awareness about the significance of mental health and mental health research.
“We are very proud to welcome Queen’s University as our newest partner in the Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative,” said Thomas O’Neill, Chair of the Board, BCE. “The Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair aligns directly with our initiative’s research and anti-stigma pillars. We could not be more pleased that this unique chair will be held by a researcher of Dr. Stuart’s calibre at a university so well regarded for its research leadership.”
The gift is the latest announcement in Bell’s $50 million commitment to Canadian mental health. The Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative is providing significant funding for leading mental health hospitals and community organizations, driving new workplace initiatives across corporate Canada, and supporting new research – including this world-first research chair at Queen’s.
“Stigma is the reason two-thirds of all those living with a mental illness will not seek help,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell Let‘s Talk mental health initiative. “By enabling Queen’s to expand its anti-stigma research, we are building on the Bell Let’s Talk commitment to fight stigma, support research and improve mental health care in communities across Canada.”