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Be a Quitter for Life – Starting Today

Toronto, ON, December 28, 2009 – Just in time for the holiday tradition of making New Year’s resolutions, CAMH, with support from presenting partner Sun Life Financial, is today launching an online fundraising campaign called “i quit” and is encouraging Canadians to visit www.imaquitter.ca to sign up and make a pledge to quit a bad habit or start a positive one while raising funds to help transform the lives of people affected by addiction and mental health issues. The inaugural campaign’s official start date is January 1, 2010 and will end on February 1, 2010.
People can sign up online immediately or at any time during the campaign, and are also encouraged to keep up their commitment throughout the year.  Participant quitters are asked to have friends, family and co-workers sponsor them as they kick their bad habit or pick up new positive ones, providing motivation to quitters to stick to their goals and in turn, help raise funds for the CAMH Foundation.
A few individual quitters are already on board and making a variety of pledges to give something up in the New Year including swearing, candy, and smoking. Others are starting positive habits such as exercising 30 minutes a day, taking the TTC to work, or making dinner every night for their family instead of buying take-out.  In addition to individuals taking part, ‘we quit’ teams consisting of co-workers or a group of friends can also participate. Teams can challenge each other within the office or issue friendly challenges to other companies to see who can raise the most funds and stick to their goals.
“The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is a world leader in supporting positive behavioural change,” said Darrell Louise Gregersen, President & CEO, CAMH Foundation. “We understand that transforming your behaviour for the better can be difficult. However, it is possible with the support of others to give that extra boost in the right direction. This is the inspiration behind our i quit campaign.”
The campaign is already off to a great start thanks to support from Presenting Sponsor Sun Life Financial – who has made a generous commitment to match funds raised during the campaign up to a total maximum of $50,000. "Sun Life Financial is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of CAMH Foundation’s i quit campaign,” said Dean Connor, President Sun Life Financial Canada. “We are pleased our donation will have a dual effect – helping provide care and treatment for people who are dealing with addictions or mental health issues, and helping to empower campaign participants to take action to improve their health and wellness.”
Extreme Fitness and the Running Room are also contributing to the program. All proceeds raised from the Toronto leg of the Running Room’s 25th Annual Resolution Run and Walk will go towards the “i quit” campaign. Extreme Fitness is providing10 annual memberships to top “i quit” fundraisers and offering one-month trial memberships to participants.
Why support “i quit”:
  • 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental illness or addiction in their lifetime.
  • $34 billion is the cost of mental illness and addictions to the Ontario economy.
  • The funds raised will help CAMH offer the best treatment, care, and facilities to help clients on their journey.
  • CAMH will be there every step of the way – providing all the necessary materials and tools to effectively implement the campaign.
  • Every $1 raised is worth up to $2, thanks to Sun Life Financial's commitment to match funds raised up to a total maximum of $50,000.
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The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development, prevention and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues.
For more information and to arrange an interview with an expert, please contact:
Kathleen Powderley, on behalf of CAMH, 416-803-5597, powderley@primus.ca
CAMH Switchboard 416-535-8501
CAMH General Information Toronto: 416-595-6111 Toll Free: 1-800-463-6273
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