Le Lézard
Classified in: Health
Subjects: SVY, WOM, DEI

WOMEN IN CANADA ARE TWICE AS LIKELY AS MEN TO LIVE WITH DEPRESSION. WHY?


HRI logo (CNW Group/Homewood Research Institute)

Homewood Health 140 logo (CNW Group/Homewood Research Institute)

A new research chair will address the persistent research gap leaving women and their doctors with more questions than answers. 

GUELPH, ON, April 18, 2024 /CNW/ - Many statistics describe the prevalence of depression in women and girls in Canada, but little research is available to explain the biological factors behind it.

Dr. Benicio Frey, newly appointed as the inaugural Homewood Research Chair in Women's Mental Health and Depression, is raising the alarm on a concerning trend of women with significant mental health concerns that are not being addressed.

The Homewood Research Chair in Women's Mental Health and Depression was established through a generous gift from the RBJ Schlegel Family Foundation to HRI. McMaster University and HRI have entered into a partnership to establish this new chair which aims to expand applied research, bridge knowledge gaps, and enhance mental health outcomes for women.

According to Frey, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University, the biological changes associated with women's reproductive phases are an important, but largely unexplored dimension of women's mental health. There is a critical lack of evidence on how the interplay between an individual's own biology and their environment affects women's experience of mental health concerns and disorders, such as depression.

"We are seeing women and girls experience new or increased mental health issues during the periods of intense hormonal fluctuation in their reproductive life cycle," says Frey. "For many of these people, their concerns have not been adequately addressed because many common mental health conditions are still neglected in the medical literature. Their concerns aren't seen as 'mainstream', which leaves these issues perpetually under-researched." Frey intends to change this through his work with HRI.

"Dr. Frey is an award-winning clinician scientist in the neurobiology of mood disorders, and one of Canada's leaders in women's mental health research," says Dr. Sidney Kennedy, Executive Director of HRI. "His work will bring new insights into this underdeveloped field and help advance our understanding of how women and girls experience depression."


HRI is also uniquely positioned to drive change and improve care through its primary practice partner, Homewood Health. Homewood Health is a leading provider of mental health and substance use treatment services across Canada.

Dr. Carlos Lalonde, President and Chief of Staff at Homewood Health Centre and Executive Vice President Medical Services for Homewood Health, says "Homewood Health will play an important role in rapidly translating Dr. Frey's research into clinical practice. This collaboration will create new pathways for learning and complement the Women's Trauma and Concurrent Program at Homewood Health Centre."

About Homewood Research Institute (HRI):

HRI is a registered Canadian charity that drives innovation and applied research to improve the lives of people with mental health and substance use disorders in Canada. Through strategic partnerships with leading scientists, service providers and people with lived experience, HRI is able to test, evaluate and retest treatments to generate new knowledge in understudied areas.

For more information, please visit: https://HRIresearch.com

About RBJ Schlegel Family Foundation

RBJ Schlegel is a three generation family business started by Wilfred Schlegel in the 1940's, and built upon by his son Ronald. The success of the RBJ Schlegel family businesses has enabled the Foundation to make meaningful contributions to charitable organizations where the Schlegel family believes they can make a difference.

The values by which the family live their lives ? humility, servant leadership, hard work, positive attitude, innovation and relationship building ? form the foundation of the family culture of the modern organization.

About Homewood Health:

Homewood Health is at the forefront of mental health and wellbeing, providing an unparalleled continuum of care to Canadians. We achieve outstanding outcomes every day through our national network of over 6,000 employees and clinical experts working in partnership with leading employers, organizations, researchers and governments.

For more information please visit: https://homewoodhealth.com

SOURCE Homewood Research Institute


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