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    Olympic champion raises funds for local mental health initatives

    [Clara Hughes Roumen Milev]
    Money raised  through a talk by Clara Hughes is being donated to a mental health research project led by Queen’s professor Roumen Milev.

    By Anne Craig, Queen’s University

    Clara Hughes will be speaking at the Ambassador Hotel on Monday, March 24 at 7 pm.
    Tickets are $12 for students and $20 for adults at the door.

    When six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes visits Kingston March 24, she will be raising funds and awareness of mental health issues. Money raised at the event is being donated to a mental health research project led by Queen’s professor Roumen Milev (Psychiatry).

    Major depression affects close to two million Canadians annually and is the leading cause of lost time from work. CAN-BIND (Canadian Biomarker Integration Network for Depression) is a joint initiative between researchers at eight universities. The goal is to identify the biological signatures of currently uncharacterized subtypes of major depressive disorder to provide an accurate and rapid diagnosis that can help determine treatment selection.

    “Clara’s Big Ride for Bell Let’s Talk is important for two reasons,” says Dr. Milev. “She is doing very important work de-stigmatizing mental health issues, and she is also raising imperative funding to support mental health research.”

    Ms. Hughes will be speaking at the Ambassador Hotel and Conference Centre March 24 at 7 pm at the BREAK the stigma. JOIN the conversation event organized by the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation. Several Queen’s University researchers and students are speaking at the event, including:

    • Alex Martin, a third year psychology student. She is involved in the Jack Project and is the co-leader of Unleash the Noise Canada’s second annual student mental health summit.
    • Tom Edgerton,  a third year political studies student. He has been volunteering with the Jack Project for two years and has twice been the on-stage host of Unleash the Noise. This year he also worked alongside Ms. Martin as co-leader of the event.
    • Wendy Craig, a professor of psychology and one of Canada’s leading researchers in the field of mental health. Dr. Craig is the co-leader of the Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNET), a knowledge mobilization network that focuses on reducing violence.
    • Saraosh Khalid-Khan, an associate professor of psychiatry and Director of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Clinic in the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Hotel Dieu Hospital.

    Along with support from Clara’s Big Ride, CAN-BIND has received funding from the Ontario Brain Institute and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Joining Queen’s in the five year research project are University of Toronto, McMaster University, University of Guelph, University of Ottawa, McGill University, University of Calgary and University of British Columbia.

    Tickets are $12 for students and $20 for adults and available at the door.