Manulife donates $1 million to women's health research

Funding to help address disparities in health

Manulife donates $1 million to women's health research

Life & Health

By Terry Gangcuangco

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and life and health insurer Manulife have teamed up through CAMH’s womenmind initiative to fund the Women’s Health Research Cluster (WHRC).

The collaboration is highlighted by Manulife’s contribution of $1 million over three years, aiming to enhance the mental health and well-being of women worldwide.

The funding will bolster the efforts of the WHRC, an international coalition dedicated to ensuring that women and girls enjoy equitable health throughout their lives.

Spanning more than 570 members in 29 countries, the WHRC considers various factors that influence mental health, including economic circumstances and physical well-being.

The network collaborates closely with the womenmind initiative, which brings together experts motivated by CAMH’s efforts to address sex and gender disparities in science.

WHRC leader Dr Liisa Galea (pictured above, furthest right) noted: “Women’s health research has, for centuries, been undervalued and underfunded. In Canada, less than 6% of research projects funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research explicitly examine factors specific to women’s health, despite the fact that many mental health disorders – such as anxiety and depression – disproportionately affect girls, women, and gender-diverse individuals.

We need to do better, and we can do better. I am very grateful to Manulife as one of the largest corporate supporters of CAMH to help us cultivate sex and gender health equity in Canada and worldwide.”

Deputy Ontario Premier and Minister of Health Sylvia Jones (pictured third from left) highlighted the government’s commitment to improving mental health service access.

Jones said: “Our government is working with our partners to break down barriers to make it easier and more convenient for people to access the mental health services they need, when they need them.

“Womenmind is another example of how collaboration across the healthcare system is ensuring essential research into women’s mental health, leading to better access to high-quality mental health services, in every corner of the province, and meeting the unique needs of women across Ontario and Canada.”

Naveed Irshad (pictured next to CAMH’s Deborah Gillis), Manulife Canada's president and chief executive, also shared his enthusiasm for the partnership.

“Manulife proudly supports the WHRC’s efforts to tackle sex and gender disparities in science to place the unique needs and experiences of women at the forefront of mental and physical health research,” he said.

“We are deeply committed to fostering positive change and empowering sustained health and wellbeing here in Canada and worldwide. This partnership exemplifies our broader mission of making a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals and communities where we live and work, leaving a lasting legacy of support and empowerment.”

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