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About the IMHR

The University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research (IMHR) was established in 1990 by the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group (ROHCG) and the University of Ottawa. It incorporated under the Canada Corporations Act in 1999 in response to the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group's new mandate as a specialized diagnostic, treatment and education centre, serving more than 1 million residents of the Champlain Local Integrated Health Network (LIHN).

Under the initial stewardship of Dr. Yvon Lapierre, the Institute's mandate was to advance basic and clinical mental health research in Canada. In helping to fulfill the role of the ROHCG as a tertiary diagnostic, treatment, and education centre, the IMHR continually strives to promote, support, integrate, and disseminate basic and clinical research knowledge through collaborative efforts and networks.

The current CEO and President, Dr. Zul Merali, is working in strong partnership with the Acting Psychiatrist in Chief of the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, Dr. Raj Bhatla and the CEO of the ROHCG, Mr. George Weber, in developing leading-edge multidisciplinary research programs with the ultimate goal of fostering innovative ways of treating mental illness.  As part of his mandate to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable James K. Bartleman acts as Honorary Patron of the IMHR.   

The IMHR is currently conducting innovative research in the areas of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, youth psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, sleep disorders and neuroelectrophysiology. Investigations in the use and efficacy of complimentary and alternative medicine are also ongoing. As part of the IMHR's continued development, the integration of novel research platforms is being undertaken in the areas of Brain-imaging, Program Evaluation, Population and Community Health and Translational Neuroscience. Together, these platforms will support further growth, development of critical mass in key areas and ultimately, improvements in the delivery and effectiveness of clinical care.

Mission, Vision and Values

  • Our mission is to create scientific knowledge to improve mental health and well-being locally and globally
  • Our vision is to be a premier research institute with national and international centre of excellence status that continuously improves mental health and well-being through leadership, collaborative discoveries and innovation in research, patient care and education.
  • Our values are excellence, collaboration, integrity, respect, compassion, wellness and equity.

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