Finding Inspiration: A special report from The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health

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FINDING INSPIRATION Stories of access, hope and new possibilities





I have lived with depression for so many years. There were some days when I was struggling with my depression that even taking a shower would seem to be an overwhelming task. In January 2016 my intention was not to be here anymore and to take my own life. I had a full suicide plan in place. As an Indigenous woman working in the community, I am extremely aware that suicide is an epidemic, especially with our youth, and I want to be a part of the change. I have always admired The Royal and their part in helping those living with mental illness. I am thankful that they give people the opportunity to use our voice and help others. I’m learning how to take better care of myself. You just have to hold on long enough and you will see it, despite how difficult it can be.

I started struggling with mental illness before I even knew what mental illness was. At eight years old, I started restricting food intake and obsessing about my body and weight. My eating disorder quickly became my life; there was simply no room for anything else. By my mid-twenties, it was completely out of control. I began spiralling into a deep depression. I felt isolated, alone, lost and hopeless. It was only through the support of friends and family, access to community services and lots of hard work and kindness towards myself that I was able to begin my journey to recovery. I wish for anyone struggling to know that they are not alone, they don’t have to feel weak, ashamed or scared of admitting that they need help. When I was finally able to accept that mental illness was a part of my life journey, it is almost as if I was able to take back my power. You’re worth it. You matter. You are good enough. You are loved.

I was lucky. I was a smart kid, I got good grades and I used the veneer to fool everybody into thinking I was okay. I did that successfully. I ended up being valedictorian of my graduating class. I never felt like I truly belonged though. When I went away to university, drinking was a massive social lubricant. Then drugs pushed that sense of false power further. It pumped me up and I felt great – until I didn’t. By then, I couldn’t stop. I continued to create this masterful illusion for the outside world of who I was. Eventually, I would secretly have to twist, lie and steal to fuel my addiction. I was in denial for a long time. There was so much guilt and shame in admitting that I was an addict. When I lost my job, I lost my identity. In retrospect, it was precisely what I needed. I am so grateful for my life now. I can be authentic for the first time. I no longer wear a false veneer of success. I can be vulnerable.





The Royal is so fortunate to have champions across our community and around the world who volunteer their time to support the incredible mental health care and research that helps provide hope and transform lives.

FINDING BEAUTY THROUGH DARKNESS llusive is a local Ottawa based artist who has been pouring their heart and soul into creating emotive and meaningful pieces of art since 2019, through their company Illusive Artworks. They use art as a creative outlet for their own mental illness, while advocating for mental health. “The opportunity to work with an organization like The Royal is

monumental to me,” says Illusive. “I’m doing this creative work because I’m taking care of my own mental health, but also trying to encourage active mental health care in others. I found a way to look back at my own struggles with beauty. When I have a painting that’s about a sad story, but it looks beautiful, that helps me feel better about the experience.” The Royal Ottawa Foundation is grateful to Illusive for collaborating with us on the beautiful cover art they created for this special insert.

INSTAGRAM: illusive_artworks WEBSITE: EMAIL:


Co-creating access, hope and new possibilities for our clients and families


implementation starting with areas where we have momentum. We will continue the process of engagement and co-design to ensure that our transformation is inclusive of the expertise available to us through our community. No organization will be the same as it was before COVID-19, because the world is irrevocably different. The Royal, and our partners in the mental health and addictions space, will be called to support an ever-growing demand for services. This year has taught us that we are well positioned to take on the challenges of the future. We have the right plan and the right people. Together, we will rise to the occasion, just as we did so many times this year, remaining a beacon of light that inspires hope and the possibility of brighter tomorrows.

Research at The Royal is home to a diverse community of passionate researchers, who have dedicated their lives to shaping and improving the future of mental health. With more than 140 ongoing research studies, involving 85 researchers, utilising state of the art facilities, including the Brain Imaging Centre and the LEARN MORE HERE

— Joanne Bezzubetz, PhD, president and chief executive officer, The Royal

— Chris Ide, president, Royal Ottawa Foundation and vice-president brand marketing, The Royal

Neuromodulation Research Clinic, we are demonstrating the value of our inquiries and collaborations. It is the diversity of our teams, experiences and perspectives that make all of this possible. Their passion and dedication to provide access to care through research is a source of inspiration.

— Florence Dzierszinski PhD, president, Institute for Mental Health Research and Vice-President, Research, The Royal


hile the world grappled with COVID-19, The Royal began a metamorphosis. Propelled by fast-paced changes to care delivery across the country and empowered by the support and partnership of our community, we tackled our most ambitious strategy yet focused on redefining what client-centred mental health care looks like. As we look to the future, we see new possibilities to increase access and inspire hope for our clients, their loved ones, our colleagues and the communities we serve. The pandemic left a resounding mark on the mental health of our country. The need continues to outpace supply challenging us to look differently at how we plan for and deliver care. In some capacities, that means further exploration around the convergence of technology and service delivery and in others, it is a deeper understanding of what is valuable and meaningful to clients and their loved ones. Through powerful conversations with individuals across our community, we are breaking down preconceived notions around what it means to “get into The Royal” and transforming our organization to address access, inspire new research, advocate for systemic equity and deliver in the areas where it counts most. At its heart, this is what our strategy, Co-creating Access, Hope and New Possibilities, exists to accomplish. To challenge what has always been and position The Royal for the future. Specifically, our strategy guided our organization through a process of re-examining the client experience at The Royal. This exploration, grounded in the process of co-design, resulted in the development of the client-centred, team-based care model, which puts the client at the centre of a comprehensive, interdisciplinary care team. This care model intends to meet the evolving needs and expectations of clients and their loved ones in both mental health care and research. It also helps us meet the promise of serving as a hospital without walls and one that can be nimble and responsive while maintaining and advancing specialty mental health care. As we look ahead to 2022, we move into the exciting phase of

This is an incredible time to join The Royal. I look forward to joining forces with our board, community members, and hospital leadership and our research institute as we focus on the future. The committed professionals here have a tremendous impact on the mental health, research and wellbeing of people across eastern Ontario, and I’m excited to contribute to the vital work that lies ahead.

The Royal partners to deliver lifelines to students


hile the world grappled with the complex implications of living in the time of a pandemic, students across Canada faced unprecedented mental health challenges. For one student at Algonquin College, a lifeline forged through a partnership between the RBC Foundation and The Royal made all the difference. Last fall, while struggling with his feelings of depression, Henry* made the brave choice to go to Algonquin’s Counselling Services. The counsellor referred Henry to a family doctor within their Health Services Clinic, who then referred Henry for a psychiatric consultation with The Royal.

Thanks to a $250,000 donation to The Royal from the RBC Foundation, clients at the Youth Services Bureau and students at Algonquin have significantly improved access to virtual mental health care. Through this program, Henry received timely care that allowed him to “visit” with clinicians via a secure video link. By virtue of the partnership between The Royal and Algonquin; Algonquin’s counselling team received training earlier in the year and were able to help Henry set healthy boundaries and enact strategies to more effectively manage his anxiety and depression. When the counselling appointments at Algonquin concluded, Henry reflected that he had begun to accept his depression as an illness, and was better equipped to understand and manage it. By facilitating access to timely psychiatric care and by sharing The Royal’s expertise with Algonquin, the special partnership greatly improved Henry’s quality of care and quality of life. Thanks to the evidence of this partnership, Carleton University and University of Ottawa have adopted a similar virtual care program for their students. This equates to over 40,000 college and university-aged students who have access to this expertise, and, as Henry taught us, life-saving care. *Not his real name



The Royal receives $1.5M anonymous donation for mental health research Funds will help scientists explore biomarkers for suicide ideation, advance treatment for major depression and study the impact of COVID-19


transformational gift of $1.5M from anonymous donors through their fund at the Ottawa Community Foundation will help three key research initiatives at The Royal’s Institute for Mental Health Research (IMHR) make profound advancements to improve mental health.


• •

Examining physical indicators in the brain called biomarkers to understand the biological underpinnings and consequences of depression and suicide. The mental and physical toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare workers. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) as a new treatment for people with persistent depression.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, and as the stigma around mental illness slowly dissipates, more and more people are reaching out and asking for help. We want to make sure the best possible care is there

I am very grateful to the donors for their extraordinary generosity and support for our research efforts. It is incredibly humbling to have the opportunity to explore the mental and physical toll of the pandemic on our healthcare providers who are sacrificing so much to deliver continuing care. — DR. JENNIFER PHILLIPS, SCIENTIST, THE ROYAL’S INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH.

for them. Research plays a key role in that,” says Joanne Bezzubetz, president and chief executive officer, The Royal. “The Ottawa Community Foundation is very pleased to be part of the ground-breaking research this gift will make possible,” says Bibi Patel, former vice-president of the Foundation. “The donors who are making this generous donation have given much thought and consideration to come to a decision that would mark their legacy gift to our community.”

Research in this area is leading to a better, more personalized standard of care for patients with depression and related mental health disorders, for whom traditional treatments haven’t worked. — DR. SARA TREMBLAY, SCIENTIST, THE ROYAL’S INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH.

“There is still so much about the human brain and mind we don’t understand, both in health and in illness. As our understanding grows, it will improve our ability to provide patients with more personalized and effective care. That is where research comes in,” states Dr. Florence Dzierszinski, president of the IMHR and vicepresident of research at The Royal. “Innovative research in mental health and addictions is bringing us closer to finding answers to some of the biggest questions that currently exist within the mental health and addictions care landscape.”



A celebration of community & collaboration


Glenda O’Hara, is a member of The Royal’s Client Advisory Council. This council is instrumental in co-creating The Royal strategy of Access, Hope and New Possibilities. PHOTO BY SHANE FRANCESCUT

tremendous difference in my life and I am so grateful.” Based on the positive response to the C-PROMPT Clinic and The Royal’s initial program evaluation, it became apparent that the Clinic was able to successfully fill a gap in services related to the pandemic. It has also confirmed that there is a clear need for expanded secondary level mental health services in Ottawa, in order to better serve people with more serious and complex mental illnesses. Many people who had never had access to assistance like this now had a place to receive care. Care that made a difference. Once you see this, you have to keep dreaming, planning and building towards a permanent Prompt Care Clinic model. The Royal proudly opened a permanent clinic on January 18th which recently received its 1,000th referral.

Prior to COVID-19, The Royal embarked on a strategic planning process to reimagine its role, work and services in mental health care. Over the past few months, leaders at The Royal met with care providers, community partners, clients, families and many others about how we can be better. The pandemic has also accelerated the thinking on how The Royal could and should deliver mental health care to those who need it most; the success of the C-PROMPT Clinic was a great example of this and is a model that The Royal can build on for the future. THANK YOU for supporting The Royal’s strategy and development of new and needed models of care.


The Prompt Care Clinic offered a ray of hope for getting the immediate help I needed. - JESSICA, PROMPT CARE CLINIC CLIENT


he Prompt Care Clinic began as an idea and a dream to help provide more timely access to mental health services. This concept quickly developed as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold during the late winter of 2020. With the help of many clinicians and the generous support of organizations and our community - both clinically and with financial support from both corporate organizations and our generous donors - within weeks, a new, then temporary model of care, was brought to the community. In a regional system of care that did not have a robust model for secondary level mental health care, how could The Royal — a tertiary provider, partner with others to fill a gap? We researched, we listened and we learned from our partners in the mental health field such as Dr. Gillis and her expertise in Shared Care both at The Ottawa Hospital and in New Zealand, from clinics around the province and country and from the research on how to serve people in quick models with impact. In partnership with The Ottawa Hospital, The Royal clinical and leadership teams worked efficiently to launch the formally named, C-Prompt Clinic (C for COVID) to help meet the needs of our community as mental health services and programs were closing one by one, day by day. The temporary C-PROMPT Clinic received over 850 referrals in its initial 13 weeks of initial operations. These referrals — 67 per cent for women — covered a range of urgent mental health needs including: diagnostic assessments, medication management, brief psychotherapy, access to lab and Long Acting Injectable medication services and system navigation. This service was a lifeline for individuals in our community who are living with mental illness. As one C-PROMPT client, Barbara, shared, “Thanks to the C-PROMPT Clinic, I was able to talk with a doctor and finally, I had hope. This service made a


Dr. Tim Lau, psychiatrist and clinical lead of the Geriatric Psychiatry Inpatient Unit, The Royal. PHOTO BY SHANE FRANCESCUT

Integrating research, education, care and lived expertise


ementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) is a complex neurodegenerative disease that is oftentimes difficult to diagnose and treat. Characterized by progressive cognitive decline, executive dysfunction, visual hallucinations, fluctuating cognition, and Parkinsonism, DLB is often underdiagnosed, or more so, mistaken for other types of neurodegenerative diseases and sub-types of dementia. Making a clinical diagnosis of DLB remains an ongoing and challenging issue for psychiatrists. DLB is also unique when compared to other neurodegenerative diseases, as many people with DLB are unable to take antipsychotic medications due to a sensitivity that puts them at a significantly higher risk for severe autonomic dysfunction. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has been described as a potential treatment for neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with DLB; however the studies are limited to very small case reports, so this form of treatment is still novel in clinical care. Studies have shown that medical imaging offers new opportunities to narrow the differential diagnosis in many neurodegenerative diseases including the dementia subtypes. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to show specific patterns of atrophy in the brain and can also eliminate other pathologies. Positron emission tomography (PET)

coupled with an imaging tracer called 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) can be used to examine regional patterns of glucose utilization, where distinct utilization patterns are directly associated to different subtypes of neurodegenerative dementia. While clinical MRI is provincially funded in Ontario, there is no comparable mechanism for access to FDG-PET for neurodegenerative dementia. Access to FDG-PET specifically for the diagnosis of dementia is only accessible through hospital-led clinical trials. Dr. Tim Lau, psychiatrist and clinical lead of the Geriatric Psychiatry Inpatient Unit at The Royal, was treating one of his geriatric patients with suspected Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), when he made an interesting discovery. Dr. Lau’s patient had been receiving ECT for neuropsychiatric symptoms of depression, anxiety and visual hallucinations. Through her ECT treatment, Dr. Lau began to notice a significant improvement in her DLB neuropsychiatric symptoms. This was the moment that Dr. Lau knew a collaboration with his research colleagues at The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research (IMHR) was required. Dr. Lau and Dr. Lauri Tuominen, Emerging Research Innovators in Mental Health (eRIMh) scientist and PET expert, partnered to delve further into what was going on inside their patient’s brain.

Dr. Lau, Dr. Tuominen, the Geriatric Psychiatry department and the research team at the Brain Imaging Centre (BIC) led by Katie Dinelle, manager of the BIC, developed a personalized clinical case study for this one patient. “One of The Royal’s strategic goals is to integrate research and care for the benefit of our patients,” says Dr. Lau. “This collaboration is enabling us, for the first time, to open our BIC to patients for imaging that can directly impact individual diagnosis and personalized treatment planning. Even for specialists in the field, much uncertainty exists for clinical diagnosis. Until recently the brain has been a black box into which we could not explore much aside from its structural appearance. Tools like PET-MRI not only show what something looks like but also how it works. In this particular case we were able to study not only how things work but also what was improving as a person clinically improved.” They used neuroimaging modalities of PET and MRI in order to get a better look at the patient’s brain, specifically to see if they could use diagnostic PET-MRI to confirm the suspected diagnosis of DLB. The use of FDG-PET imaging provided the ability to confirm a differential diagnosis of Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) – as distinct from other dementia sub-types and depression – and therefore to tailor treatment approaches. “The scan helped confirm the diagnosis, which was unclear prior to this case study,” says Dr. Lau. “Four different nuclear medicine specialists all agreed on the pattern.” The results and success of this case study demonstrate the collaborative capabilities of our clinical and research teams at The Royal and have fostered future collaborations between research and care. “The future of research at The Royal is about researchinformed care and vice-versa,” says Dr. Florence Dzierszinski, IMHR president and VP research, The Royal. “Our interprofessional teams composed of patients and families, clinicians, program leaders, and scientists are co-designing studies that are clinically impactful, and provide access to care through research.” Dr. Lau and Dr. Tuominen have received funding through the Translation of Research into Care (TRIC) grant to conduct a larger study at The Royal that will potentially improve care and dementia diagnosis for patients in the Geritric Unit. “This case study was our first step towards the long term goal of improving access to diagnostic imaging for clients of The Royal via research,” says Dinelle. “Longer term we hope to add imaging tracers that would allow us to visualize beta amyloid plaques [deposits that form plaques around brain cells] into our studies, which are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.” The feedback received from the patient’s family was all positive and everyone involved is motivated to build on the success of this experience. “My patient benefited greatly from the scan and from the treatments she is receiving,” says Dr. Lau. “She is still receiving ECT as an outpatient and her daughter, who is her substitute decision maker, is very appreciative of the research-informed care she has received. Access to research offers the hope and promise of a better future. The scans offered something my patient’s daughter did not have before, and that is certainty of diagnosis.”

Canada Life funds grants to translate research into care


or the last decade, Canada Life has played an integral role in the development of The Royal’s Brain Imaging Centre (BIC) by supporting the advancement of depression research at The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research. Their $1M donation was divided three ways between the BIC, depression research and a new initiative called Translation of Research into Care (TRIC). The TRIC Grant supports interdisciplinary research projects that have the potential to improve care at The Royal. The six teams receiving funding through the TRIC Grant competition will look to improve diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illness. They also support the meaningful engagement of clients and families —a key factor driving mental health solutions. “When clients are engaged in care and research we see consistently better outcomes,” said Dr. Florence Dzierszinski, president of the Institute of Mental Health Research and vice president of research at The Royal. “The TRIC Grant enables deeper integration of clinicians, scientists, clients and their families in a manner that truly facilitates bench-to-bedside

research. Through our strategy, Co-creating Access, Hope and New Possibilities, we are redefining how lived expertise can inform and shape care, education and research that advances our understanding of mental health and substance use disorders. I believe that programs like TRIC result in more intentional collaboration and more powerful exploration that has a resounding impact on client care.” Together, donors like Canada Life and The Royal’s

We know that mental health diagnosis, treatment and prevention play a vital part in creating strong and healthy communities.

scientists, clinicians, staff, clients and caregivers are working shoulder-to-shoulder to help ensure that those struggling with mental illness and substance use disorders receive the care they need, when and where they need it. “At Canada Life, we believe in supporting the wellbeing of Canadians and in the value of expertise,” said Debbie Down, director, community relations, Canada Life. “That’s why we’re thrilled to support the innovative TRIC program – because it will bring together experts who can help make a tangible, positive impact in the mental health journey of Canadians every year. We know that mental health diagnosis, treatment and prevention play a vital part in creating strong and healthy communities.” We are so grateful to Canada Life for the tremendous impact they are having on mental health research at The Royal.





Future vision for the BIC



Katie Dinelle, manager, Brain Imaging Centre, The Royal. PHOTO BY SHANE FRANCESCUT


The Royal is a pillar of hope to philanthropic donors


athleen Grimes and her husband Ersin Ozerdinc, owners of Site Preparation Limited, believe that giving back to the community is an integral part of being a responsible citizen. Kathleen’s philanthropic support began in 1986 when she became involved in the family business. She and Ersin have given back to charities that resonate with her family ever since. “We have a son that lives with schizophrenia, so that’s one of the reasons we began giving to The Royal,” says Kathleen. Kathleen has been a loyal and generous supporter of The Royal since 2012 and she played a critical role in the

n 2016, thanks to the generosity of donor support, we opened the Brain Imaging Centre [BIC] at The Royal. With the knowledge that mental health and substance use disorders stem from biological brain dysfunctions, and that their care has to be informed by diagnostic imaging in the same way we do for physical ailments, we set out on an innovative and forward thinking research journey at The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research (IMHR). Over the last five years, we have recruited world-renowned research scientists from around the globe with key expertise in brain imaging, physics and neuroscience. After forming this team of specialists, we launched clinical research programs to identify biological indicators of mental health and substance use, to establish correlates between brain biology, diagnostics, and treatment effects. Our field of mental health is not nearly as advanced as the fields of care in cancer or cardiovascular disease, so we still have much

establishment of The Royal’s Brain Imaging Centre at the Institute of Mental Health Research. Kathleen’s son, Devrim, has had a long journey of recovery since he first sought help back in 2012. Thanks to the help of doctors at The Royal, Devrim is now at a point where he understands the illness and has come to terms with it. “The Royal is the pillar of hope and beacon of hope for everyone suffering from mental illness in Ottawa,” says Kathleen’s son Devrim. “All of the physicians at The Royal really care, they love what they do and they always have the patients best interest at heart at all times.” “One of the things I feel is of crucial importance, is educating not just the community, but educating the professionals - the school teachers, nurses, doctors, to be able to identify mental health issues sooner than later,” says Kathleen. In more recent years, Kathleen has become involved in helping to fund an innovative, new resource team through The Royal’s Substance Use and Concurrent Disorders (SUCD) program. Kathleen’s interest in supporting The Royal’s SUCD program emerged after one of her close friends lost their son to an accidental drug overdose, resulting from a lack of treatment for an undiagnosed mental illness and substance use disorder. Through her support of The Royal’s SUCD program

work to do. Our vision for the future of the BIC is bright, hopeful and rich with new possibilities. As the BIC evolves from prototype to a centre of expertise, our leadership team at The Royal’s IMHR have plans that align our BIC with The Royal’s strategic plan over the next four years. In our accountable and accessible BIC, clinical research will be carried out with clients, not on clients - it will be shaped by the needs and questions of our clients, families and communities. Research will inform care and care will inform research. Clinicians and research scientists will have the opportunity to collaborate like never before. We plan to bring together scientists, clinicians and communities to develop interdisciplinary, socially responsible and culturally-sensitive whole-person approaches to mental health and substance use needs.


Kathleen Grimes and Ersin Ozerdinc.

resource team, Kathleen hopes to help The Royal build capacity in our community by providing education and training to other agencies that are working with concurrent disorder clients. “Hope is the most important thing that people can have,” says Kathleen. “You can never give up hope…never. And at the end of the day, The Royal is that pillar of hope.”


TechInsights proudly supports The Royal to help promote mental health and wellness. We are the authoritative information platform for the semiconductor and microelectronics industry. Through our platform, we enable a marketplace which supports innovation to advance the world we live in.


Through our relationship with The Royal, we help to inspire hope within our community.

Healing happens here T

It is said that one act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and thus, the BMHC “kindness tree” was born. Paper leaves with messages of kindness and gratitude were collected from over 100 clients at BHMC.

wo separate initiatives at the Brockville Mental Health Centre (BMHC) came together to spread kindness and highlight creativity at a critical time during the pandemic last year. The Kindness Connection group was developed by staff in response to the lockdown brought about by COVID-19. Group members came together every week from May 7 until their “graduation” on August 21, 2020. Melissa Harris, a senior psychometrist in the forensic program at BMHC and one of the group’s facilitators, said the group’s program was loosely based on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), a form of behavioural therapy that combines mindfulness with self-acceptance. ACT encourages people to accept what is out of their control and embrace their thoughts, feelings, and challenges. Group members brainstormed ways to show kindness to themselves and to others, which grew into a commitment to be more mindful, make positive changes, and spread kindness to others. “It created that kind of small pocket of hope,” said Harris.

“Being resilient within this time was an accomplishment, and I think that really helped people get through and see the light at the end of the tunnel.” Kindness Club’s graduation coincided with a client-based multimedia art show that was planned with assistance from support staff, including recreation therapy, occupational therapy, social work, psychometry and the members of the Client Advisory Council. “The art show was client-centred and client-driven all the way through and I think it was really great how the allied health staff came together to help organize it,” said Natalie Zizzo, an occupational therapist who was involved in the event. “It was a very positive experience.” “It helped us cope with some of our own issues, the time that we had to spend inside,” said Mike, who contributed three pieces of art to the show. “It’s therapeutic, and it was nice to see some of the people’s work. It was encouraging to see their involvement.”


The power of community partnerships The Royal’s community mental health program is comprised of 12 teams, each with its own unique mandate. This important work covers communities such as: Ottawa, Cornwall, Pembroke, Brockville, and Lanark. For this magnitude of service, there is one very vital component and that is our community partners.


Making a difference together. Through various sponsorships and community involvement, we believe in helping and making a difference together, to reduce the stigma around mental health in Canada.

BMO is proud to support The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health.


At BMO, we are committed to advancing health and wellness in our local communities.




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“As an employer, we know we don’t always see the full picture – which is why we’re committed to improving and creating a workplace where you can feel safe to talk, be heard and get the support you need.” Brent Strachan Division President, Ottawa