News - Mar 2019

A special announcement from HRI

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Kenneth Murray, a revered community leader and long-time member of HRI’s Board of Directors.

As a member of the HRI Board, Ken provided vital oversight to HRI as our organization progressed from a small start-up to a nationally focused entity. He recognized early on the importance of collaboration with other organizations, and was instrumental in creating the spirit of co-operation to enhance collective impact that guides HRI’s strategic approach to this day.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of a true gentleman and extend our condolences to Ken’s wife, Marilyn, and his family,” says Ron Schlegel, Chair of the HRI Board.

“I’ve known Ken for over 30 years and have been inspired by his deep and unwavering commitment to using research and education to promote the best possible quality of life for people who are aging or affected by mental illness and addiction.”

Ken’s professional legacy is remarkable. By one colorful account of his life, he began by nailing wooden egg cartons together at J.M. Schneider Inc. in Kitchener, Ontario. His work ethic and business savvy would earn him many promotions over the years; in 1969, he was appointed President and CEO of the company. During his 17-year term as President and CEO, he saw Schneider’s sales grow from $70 million to $650 million.

During his time at Schneider’s, Ken recognized the importance of mental health and well-being among his employees and their families. He took every opportunity to create employment conditions conducive to mental health and would go on to become a notable philanthropist, committed to advancing mental health initiatives.

Perhaps the project closest to Ken’s heart was the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Project (MAREP). His first wife, Helen, lived her last years with Alzheimer’s disease. Learning first-hand just how devastating this illness could be, Ken assembled a team and created MAREP. The organization integrates research and education to improve dementia care practices and quality of life for people diagnosed with age-related cognitive impairments.

In 2001, Ken was appointed a member of the Order of Canada for his generous contributions to community organizations, including the Universities of Waterloo and Guelph, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation. He was also the recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for his community service.

Ken used his corporate leadership, his philanthropy and his wisdom to make a profound difference to a great many people in his lifetime. His legacy is enormous and truly inspiring.

Thank you, Ken, for all you’ve done to advance HRI’s mission and beyond that, to do so much in so many ways to improve the lives of Canadians.

Kenneth Murray’s obituary and details about his celebration of life can be found here.

Save the date: HRI Research Day

Homewood Research Institute (HRI) is proud to help the Canadian Mental Health Association #getloud about mental health with a special event on May 9, 2019.

Join us for HRI Research Day – Spring 2019, a free public event where the HRI team will be available to answer your questions about mental health and addiction research.

  • Find out how we’re engaging thought leaders across Canada to address some of our nation’s most pressing mental health and addiction challenges
  • Learn about applied research and how it’s helping to transform the way we treat mental health and addiction in real time
  • Get details on the latest research projects underway at HRI and how they can help people across Canada and beyond

Date: Thursday, May 9, 2019
Time: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (light lunch included)
Venue: 10C (42 Carden St. Guelph – 4th Floor Community Classroom)
RSVP: Click to register today
Cost: Free


This event is helping to raise awareness about mental health in celebration of CMHA Mental Health Week. For more information about how you can help Canada #getloud during Mental Health Week, click here.


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HRI scientist awarded funding to advance promising trauma research

Cognitive tool aims to help veterans and military members

On February 1, Homewood Research Institute (HRI) announced the expansion of vital research that provides hope for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Early studies led by HRI among inpatients being treated for PTSD suggest that a cognitive training program called Goal Management Training (GMT) helps to reduce symptoms common among people with PTSD, including difficulty with memory, attention, planning and organization.

Thanks to a three-way funding partnership between the Military Casualty Support Foundation, The Cowan Foundation, and RBJ Schlegel Holdings, research will now be expanded to two outpatient clinics in Ontario to evaluate the utility of GMT among military members and veterans with PTSD.

Dr. Margaret McKinnon is Homewood Research Chair in Mental Health and Trauma and the principal investigator behind the GMT studies. She hopes to replicate early findings from inpatient studies among outpatient groups. Her team will evaluate the impact of GMT in the military population at Operational Stress Injury clinics in both Toronto and London.

The introduction of GMT among military professionals is timely: Veterans Affairs Canada reports that nearly 20,000 veterans and armed forces members have now been diagnosed with PTSD.1

Related reading:
Goal therapy treatment helps ease life for veterans with PTSD, CBC
(February 8, 2019)

Further funding to benefit public safety personnel

On February 8, McMaster University announced that Dr. McKinnon was also the recipient of a one-year $150,000 grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). McKinnon is one of 22 researchers to receive funding to support the advancement of research that will help people with post-traumatic stress injuries.

Importantly, Dr. McKinnon will focus her studies on public safety personnel – including paramedics, correctional workers, police officers and firefighters – who are frequently exposed to traumatic events that increase their risk of developing post-traumatic stress injuries. A randomized control trial will explore how GMT can benefit public safety workers with PTSD and co-morbid conditions.

Related reading:
Wilfrid Laurier, Guelph researchers receive grants to study PTSD in public safety workers, CBC
(February 8, 2019)
France and Hamilton team up to study depression, The Hamilton Spectator
(February 14, 2019)

References

  1. https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/about-us/statistics/8-0

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