Brain and Mental Health

Together, we will discover breakthroughs in brain and mental health

We are unlocking mysteries in the way brains work. Doing so will improve millions of people’s lives.

Brain disorders are a growing concern. One in three Canadians will be affected by a brain or nervous system disorder or injury in their lifetime. Depression, stroke, multiple sclerosis and dementia are just a few of the afflictions that are already having a devastating impact in our communities.

The complexity of brain disorders calls for the energy, experience and ingenuity of a sophisticated team. We are meeting the challenge. Our fresh approaches yield groundbreaking discoveries.

Led by the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, the University of Calgary has more than 200 researchers engaged in brain and mental health research. Our breakthroughs are showing results in prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Together, we will create new pathways into brain and mental health.

Making history

Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High — our most ambitious fundraising campaign to date — closes in June 2020. Get ready to be a part of our history!

Developing the next generation of brain and mental health leaders

At the University of Calgary, we are providing a foundation of excellence to enhance student success.

To give our students every advantage possible, we have assembled experts across a wide spectrum of fields. The opportunity for students to grow in this environment of knowledge and expertise is unmatched.

Our global profile as an international centre of excellence in brain and mental health research and education is enhanced by recruiting and supporting world-class students.

Putting smart mental health ideas into practice

UCalgaryStrong is one of the most comprehensive programs of its kind at a Canadian university.

It brings together elements of student personal wellness, leadership and engagement during their time on campus, from orientation week to convocation.

The initiative encourages and fosters resiliency against the stressors of loneliness and isolation that can arise during a student’s post-secondary experience.

Together, we are helping youth grow strong.

Achieving exciting research outcomes

The University of Calgary has organized NeuroTeams – networks of researchers focused on specific areas within the brain and mental health research themes – to create results that inspire.

Studies in the synaptic circuitry of the brain yield insights into how thoughts turn into actions. The examination of healthy brain aging considers improved treatments for conditions.

Neural injury and repair research suggests approaches that can speed recovery.

Our research in brain and mental health is becoming the catalyst for change.

New stroke treatment cuts mortality by 50 per cent

Basma Kholoussi remembers very little from the night she suffered a stroke. Her husband, Bassem, recognized the warning signs: Basma’s face drooped, she slurred words and couldn’t use the right side of her body.

At the Foothills Medical Centre, she was given treatment as part of the ESCAPE trial studying ischemic stroke — an international study wherein a clot is removed using cutting-edge imaging. The ESCAPE study has resulted in a new global standard for stroke treatment, reducing mortality rates by 50 per cent, with the potential to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide who suffer strokes each year.

Not only did the treatment save her life, Basma has been able to return to her normal life, free of disability.

Fostering community connections

We are fueling the next 50 years of brain research and creating healthier communities with key partnerships.

The Brain and Mental Health initiative at the University of Calgary is fully integrating with the Calgary community in the area of brain and mental health research.

We are establishing a research chair in the community at the Wood’s Homes Children’s Mental Health Centre and engaging members of the public as participants in clinical trials and studies.

We are addressing the burden brain and mental issues can place on us all.

Training the new recruits for the front lines of care

With one in three Canadians experiencing a mental health issue in their lifetime, we’re working with local organizations to get more help on the front lines. Partnerships with community organizations provide students with vital practicum placements.

One organization is the Calgary Counselling Centre, where Faculty of Social Work students work one-on-one with members of the community with their mental health needs, preparing our students to become the next generation of social workers. In turn, the community acts as a living laboratory to help advance practices for care and treatment, improving the lives of all Canadians.

Join us in discovering breakthroughs in brain and mental health

Contact information

Laureen Jensen
Director of Development
Hotchkiss Brain Institute