Mission

Based in Canada and open to the world, the Graham Boeckh Foundation (GBF) is a catalyst for transformational changes that significantly improve the lives of people living with, or at risk of, mental illness.

GBF is a private foundation created by J. Anthony Boeckh and his family in 1990. Our goal is to transform the mental health system and the services provided by initiating, funding and facilitating a suite of strategic initiatives. These projects foster collaboration, break down silos within the mental health sector, and place patients and families at the centre of care.

We improve mental health outcomes by prioritizing two main areas:

Transforming the mental health care system and related services, with a focus on Integrated Youth Services

Fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange in the mental health sector

40% Mental illness’ share of the burden of disease in rich countries; far higher than cancer or cardiovascular disease.
75% Mental illness’ share of the burden of disease for ages 15 to 29; by far their dominant health issue.
1/3 Fraction of those affected by mental illness who receive proper treatment in developed countries. (WHO)

History

Graham Boeckh grew up as a friendly and passionate boy; he was an accomplished athlete, outdoorsman and student whose life began to unravel as the symptoms of schizophrenia took hold. He died at the age of 22 from neuroleptic malignant syndrome due to complications from medication.

The health system failed Graham as it has countless others: poor access, misdiagnoses and improper care and supervision. That’s why our family is determined to improve how patients and families are treated.

1990

Honouring Graham

J. Anthony Boeckh and his family establish the Graham Boeckh Foundation (GBF) in honour of his son, Graham, who passed away due to schizophrenia-related complications.

Read More Read Less
1990
1996

Graham Boeckh Chair funded

Raymonde and Tony Boeckh establish a chair in schizophrenia research at McGill University and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. They worked together as co-chairs of the Board of Directors for many years and were the initial drivers of the Foundation. Raymonde, a tireless and passionate advocate for improving the lives of those suffering from mental illness, retired from the Board at the end of 2016, having made major contributions to the Foundation’s development.

Read More Read Less
1996
1998

Dr. Guy Rouleau named inaugural Graham Boeckh Chairholder

Dr. Rouleau brings his world-renowned expertise in molecular genetics to researching the genetic causes of schizophrenia.

Read More Read Less
1998
2009

International Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders established

GBF and partners pioneer the International Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders (IAMHRF) to increase the impact of research investments and promote collaboration in research funding. The IAMHRF’s membership includes many of the largest and most innovative mental health research funders across the world. GBF provides leadership for and is the administrative host of the IAMHRF.

Read More Read Less
2009
2010

Dr. Samarthji Lal Annual Award for Mental Health Research established

GBF creates an award to honour the renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Lal, who played a pivotal role in establishing the Graham Boeckh Chair in Schizophrenia Studies. The annual award recognizes an outstanding Canadian psychiatric researcher, with a focus on major mental disorders.

Read More Read Less
2010
2012

James D. Hughes appointed President of GBF

Mr. Hughes brings his extensive knowledge and experience working in social services to the GBF team.

Read More Read Less
2012
2012

Pan-Canadian Research-to-Practice Initiative in Youth Mental Health launched

Transformational Research in Adolescent Mental Health (TRAM), a patient-oriented network, launches. GBF and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) collaborate to fund this unique public/private partnership with the objective of transforming the system of mental healthcare for young people.

Read More Read Less
2012
2013

Mental Health and Wellness Affinity Group created

GBF, with the help of Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC), establishes the Mental Health and Wellness Affinity Group (MHWAG). MHWAG is comprised of major Canadian-based philanthropic foundations that have come together to foster collective learning opportunities, knowledge exchange and collaborative funding initiatives.

Read More Read Less
2013
2014

Pan-Canadian network in youth mental health funded

ACCESS Open Minds, led by Dr. Ashok Malla, is chosen as the successful TRAM Network through a competitive process. The goal of the network is to transform youth mental healthcare in Canada.

Read More Read Less
2014
2015

Ian Boeckh appointed President of GBF

Ian Boeckh becomes President of the Foundation, building off his professional background in the area of economics and finance.

Read More Read Less
2015
2015

Foundry (BC Integrated Youth Services Initiative) is created

GBF partners with the government of British Columbia to create Foundry, the BC Integrated Youth Services Initiative that is transforming how young people access health and social services throughout the province.

Read More Read Less
2015
2017

Frayme is established

GBF helps to establish Frayme, an international knowledge translation platform for youth mental health funded through the Canadian Networks of Centres of Excellence International Knowledge Translation Platforms Program.

Read More Read Less
2017
2017

Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario launched

GBF partners with the Ontario government and other philanthropic foundations to create Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario, the Ontario Integrated Youth Services project.

Read More Read Less
2017
2018

Aire ouverte launched

GBF partners with the Québec government to develop Aire ouverte, the network of Integrated Youth Services for the province of Québec. It offers resources, services and supports for young people aged 12 to 25.

Read More Read Less
2018