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What is the Miner’s Lamp Award and why should you support it?

Mental illness is one of the most prevalent, chronic illnesses of our time. One in five Canadians will be affected personally by it. Over 70% of adults with mental illness trace their first symptoms to the ages of 16 to 24. In one way or another, all of us will feel its impact.

Launched in 2016 as a partnership between IAMGOLD and the University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry, the Miner’s Lamp Award is an annual gala event to:

  • Raise funds to sponsor breakthrough research into the prevention and early detection of severe mental illness among adolescents and young adults.
  • Give public recognition to exceptional individuals who have dedicated themselves to increasing awareness and understanding of mental illness, reducing its stigma and improving the lives of those affected.

We believe that by joining forces with organizations and individuals like you, we can make significant improvements over time to the quality of life of young people in our community – and youth everywhere who can benefit from new research. We hope you will join us.

Candour, courage and new hope: the 2017 Miner’s Lamp Award dinner

At the Miner’s Lamp Award dinner on March 29, 2017 at The Carlu in Toronto, Miner’s Lamp Award founder, Carol Banducci, EVP and CFO, IAMGOLD Corporation, told 400 guests from Toronto’s business and academic communities: “Mental illness in youth can be devastating and touches us all. Thanks to your generosity in giving more than $1 million for research into its causes, we can now do more to give the young people it affects the hope they need and the help they deserve.”

Trevor Young, Dean of Medicine, University of Toronto explained that as U of T is one of the world’s top research universities and the only faculty of medicine in the Greater Toronto Area, it is uniquely positioned to effect change in mental health. “Our researchers are improving understanding of the physiology of mental illness and finding new insights into how it can be treated. U of T is also integrating psychiatry with other areas of medicine, across its network of nine affiliated hospitals and 25 community sites, including the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and Sick Kids.”

In the spirit of fostering awareness and understanding, this year’s dinner featured inspiring speakers Sophie Grégoire Trudeau and Barenaked Ladies founder Steven Page, who talked candidly and courageously of their personal battles with mental illness, and Jamie and Patsy Anderson, recipients of the 2017 Miner’s Lamp Award for their lifelong dedication to mental health. The Andersons received their award from inaugural Miner’s Lamp Award winner, Paul Beeston, former President & CEO, Toronto Blue Jays & Rogers Centre.

In accepting the award, Patsy Anderson said: “We are so proud to be part of a community that has chosen to learn about mental health and which advocates for those who are challenged by mental health issues.” Added Jamie Anderson: “I like to remind people that our mind is far and away the most complicated part of us. Relative to other health issues, it has been under-resourced and under-researched.”

Other inspiring mental health advocates George Cope, President & CEO, BCE (and founder of “Bell Let’s Talk”) and Michael Landsberg (former host of “Off the record” and founder of SickNotWeak) also attended the dinner.

Reflecting on the evening, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau summed up the renewed sense of hope generated by the academic and business and communities’ partnership: “It's my sincere wish that every person who struggles with mental health can find support, love and acceptance. It warmed my heart to see so many people come together to support the Miner’s Lamp Innovation Fund in Prevention & Early Detection of Severe Mental Illness. Thank you for taking mental illness seriously, and for dedicating the resources needed to build better and more effective treatments.”

Every dollar donated supports new research into youth mental health

As IAMGOLD covers the cost of the gala, 100% of proceeds are channeled into new research to support the field’s most promising studies. With the funds raised in 2016, two new studies are under way:

      1.    Drs. Joanna Henderson and Aristotle Voineskos are collaborating with child and youth clinics, and using a new approach to identify early signs of psychosis spectrum symptoms.

      2.    Dr. Vincenzo De Luca is studying the interaction of early life adversities and schizophrenia vulnerability genes in young people – with a specific focus on how this relates to suicide risk.

Click here for photos of the 2017 Miner’s Lamp Award dinner.

Click here to make a donation to the Miner’s Lamp Innovation Fund.

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