A transformational $2.5 million gift of philanthropic support will help an additional 1,000 people in Eastern Ontario who live with psychosis, a common symptom of schizophrenia spectrum disorders.
The new Ozerdinc Grimes Family Regional Psychosis Clinic will treat adults over the age of 18 who experience persistent psychotic disorders and provide much-needed support to their families as well.
“The Royal is deeply committed to improving access to mental health care. This is not something that we do alone, it takes collaboration with partners throughout our community including visionary donors like the Ozerdinc Grimes family,” says Joanne Bezzubetz, president and CEO of The Royal. “The Ozerdinc Grimes Family Regional Psychosis Clinic will be a place where individuals and families can find hope and get the support they need to live the life they want.”
Psychosis is a condition that affects how the brain processes information. During a period of psychosis, a person may have difficulty understanding what is real and what is not. Psychosis involves hallucinations (visual and/or auditory experiences that are not real) and/or delusions (false beliefs not based in reality).
“The Ozerdinc Grimes Family Regional Psychosis Clinic will be a place where individuals and families can find hope and get the support they need to live the life they want.”People who have schizophrenia spectrum disorders experience psychosis but it is a symptom for other conditions as well.
It is estimated that one in every 100 people have a schizophrenia spectrum disorder. In the Ottawa region, 12,000 people live with schizophrenia and 300 more will develop it this year.
Although there is no cure, there are effective medical and therapeutic interventions available.
The Ozerdinc Grimes Family Regional Psychosis Clinic will help to ensure that people with schizophrenia and their families have access to the specialized care and support they need throughout their recovery journey. It officially began seeing a small number of clients in September 2022.
At this time, admission to the clinic is a phased process for clients of The Royal but will expand to include referrals from other hospitals in mid to late 2023.
“This clinic would not be possible without the visionary leadership of the Ozerdinc Grimes family and $1.5 million in early support from donors and lead organizations such as Shoppers Drug Mart,” says Chris Ide, president of the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health and vice president for brand and marketing.
The Ozerdinc Grimes family provided the following statement about their donation:
“Peace of mind is something we often take for granted and, as a result, mental health is often overlooked when it comes to philanthropic support. Having said that, the community in Ottawa has stepped up to contribute to the improvement of quality of care and research in mental health. However, there is a critical need for improved access to care, particularly with those suffering from psychosis without a diagnosis. By providing a novel form of access to care, the new clinic will not only give hope to those suffering from psychosis, but it will also give hope to their families. Moreover, in the community at large, the Ozerdinc Grimes family is optimistic that there will be a collective “sigh of relief” amongst those in the medical field, as well as educators and caregivers.”
The Ozerdinc Grimes Family Regional Psychosis Clinic serves individuals whose needs fall into a “middle area” – clients who require a more specialized level of care than is typically offered by primary care providers but not quite as intensive as The Royal's current programs.
“The clinic is designed to bridge a gap in the continuum of care for one of the most stigmatizing and challenging of diseases,” says Dr. David Attwood, the clinical director of The Royal’s Integrated Schizophrenia Recovery Program. “This is a significant step towards our goal of providing the right care, in the right place, at the right time.”
The clinic will provide effective long-term therapies, including early and easy access to long-acting injections and clozapine, as well as cognitive behavioural therapy, family therapy, recovery and rehabilitation services.
By providing a novel form of access to care, the new clinic will not only give hope to those suffering from psychosis, but it will also give hope to their families.
Through the University of Ottawa Institute for Mental Health Research at The Royal (IMHR) clients and families at the clinic will have the opportunity to participate in new and novel research studies, including studies in neuroimaging, electrophysiology, sleep, and cognition.
Research increases our understanding of psychosis and schizophrenia spectrum disorders and leads to more effective, personalized treatment for clients.
With rigorous research and evaluation embedded in the clinic, The Royal will make the case for sustainable ongoing funding from the Government of Ontario.