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Scotiabank and ScotiaMcLeod make major donation to CHEO’s BIG STEPS Campaign
The CHEO Foundation announced today that a major donation to its BIG STEPS Campaign by Scotiabank together with ScotiaMcLeod employees will trigger a $500,000 investment into youth mental health. The donation of $250,000 will be matched by the CHEO Foundation to help CHEO staff and research scientists in their efforts to address the problem of youth suicide. This gift will help examine and address the factors of suicidal behaviours in youth.  It will lead to the creation and implementation of a new clinical patient-care treatment program for youth who are suicidal at CHEO and throughout the entire mental health system.

“This incredible donation brings the BIG STEPS campaign to the brink of reaching our goal of raising $25 million for research and new medical equipment,” said Fred Bartlett, President and CEO of the CHEO Foundation. “Scotiabank and ScotiaMcLeod employees’ commitment to youth mental health will help healthcare providers at CHEO and scientists at the CHEO Research Institute continue some very important work into a field that is deservedly getting a lot of attention as of late. Their commitment to the work being done in this area is truly inspiring and we can’t thank them enough.”

In 2010 CHEO dealt with an alarming number of suicide patients as 220 attempted suicide patients came to the CHEO Emergency department.  Fifty-four of those patients had to be admitted to hospital.

“Scotiabank is proud to support CHEO’s initiatives in developing treatment strategies to better address youth mental health issues,” said Mike Mullin, Community Branch Manager, Scotiabank.” The bank wants to provide CHEO with the resources it needs to make a difference in the lives of youth who struggle with suicide.”

Paul Delfino, Wealth Advisor at ScotiaMcLeod said, “We as a team of employees at ScotiaMcLeod were deeply inspired by the courage of the Richardson Family in their plight to bring awareness and funding to youth mental health. In keeping with the spirit initiated by the Richardsons and their DIFD campaign, we pooled our personal resources to raise $125,000 to fund research at CHEO that will look at better ways of helping suicidal youth."

The Ottawa Department of Public Health reports that nearly 20 percent of youth in Ottawa experience suicidal thoughts and only 30 percent of those who self identify themselves as having poor mental health have ever seen a mental health specialist. These statistics, along with the tragic stories that drive them, have led to a great interest in the identification and prevention of suicide.

“As a regional hospital, CHEO has long been the destination for families seeking help for their suicidal children. Nearly two thirds of all hospital admissions to psychiatry present with suicide-related needs. Building on our considerable clinical experience, this generous gift will help us better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent suicide in the greater Ottawa area,” said Dr. John Lyons, psychologist, Endowed Chair of Child and Youth Mental Health Research at CHEO and the University of Ottawa.

The BIG STEPS Campaign supports the CHEO Research Institute in their important work involving youth suicide and other areas of youth mental health.
About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, ‘Bright Future.’ Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $44 million annually to community causes around the world over the last five years. Visit us at

About CHEO

The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario is a health care centre dedicated to providing specialized care to children and youth in eastern Ontario and western Quebec. Opened in 1974, CHEO offers a range of medical services for patients from birth through to 18 years of age. CHEO now houses 167 inpatient beds – 20 are in Neonatal Intensive Care, 10 in Pediatric Intensive Care, and 95 in inpatient wards. The 25 beds in psychiatry are allocated as follows:
six for eating disorders patients and 19 in-patients,15 for adolescents and four for children. The mental health program at CHEO includes a Day Treatment program on an out-patient basis, outreach programs, the Emergency Department Crisis Intervention and urgent care. CHEO also has six patient service units, including 56 different outpatient or ambulatory care clinics. CHEO is one of two free-standing pediatric hospitals in Canada. It is the primary teaching hospital for the University of Ottawa. CHEO handles over 200,000 patient visits per year and 6,000 children and youth are admitted to the hospital annually.


The BIG STEPS Campaign is a fundraising initiative which will enable CHEO to take a quantum leap forward in essential lifesaving research and total patient care. The funds raised in this $25 million campaign will allow CHEO to attract the best research minds, physicians and health care providers to our hospital and equip them with the advanced tools and technologies they need to care for and cure our kids.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Len Hanes Patty Stathokostas
Director of Communications and Annual Giving Scotiabank Media Communications
CHEO Foundation (416) 866-3625
(613) 737-2784
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