Create your legacy by leaving a gift in your will to CAMH.

Photo of CAMH donor Ted Cadsby

Ted Cadsby

Younger woman hugging older woman

Your Legacy, Your Values, Your Will: 4 Steps to Getting Started

Here are 4 steps to help you get started. We hope this information is helpful when you have conversations with your loved ones and your advisors.

  • Review your assets. This includes your home, your valuables, your investments and more.
  • Remember your loved ones. Consider what you wish to leave for your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or other loved ones.
  • Reflect on your values. We invite you to talk to us about what you hope your gift will accomplish.
  • With the help of your loved ones and your advisors, create or update your will and consider what type of legacy gift is best for you.
Younger woman supporting older woman

Valerie's Story

It’s been almost 10 years since my son Matthew’s suicide. We spoke on the phone the day he died, and like every day, Matthew was vibrant and joyful.

Busy, yes, and a little stressed about his work as a chiropractor, but no alarm bells were ringing for me at all. I woke up before dawn knowing something awful had just happened. My phone rang, it was a close friend of Matthew’s, and I remember hearing this hollow voice on the phone: “I think he’s hurt himself,” Matthew had sent a time-delayed email. Having experienced mental illness with loved ones, I always felt I was tuned in and would be able to tell if something was off. But I had no warning signs, no concerns, and neither did Matthew’s large and supportive circle of friends and colleagues. Everyone was shocked. I was devastated. Heartbroken. A part of me died that day, too.

For a long time, I couldn’t accept why he didn’t talk to me, or anyone, about what was going on. I couldn’t understand that my intelligent, successful, functioning son was suffering in silence. That’s what prompted me to reach out to CAMH Foundation and talk about leaving a gift in support of mental health research in my will, in memory of my two children. Last year, I lost my daughter, Kim, to Huntington’s disease, a neurological disorder.

It’s important to me that my legacy gift is used to provide urgent help by supporting critical mental health research. We must understand causes and symptoms of mental illness, and use personalized medicine to get every individual the right treatment. I don’t know where mental health will be in 20 years or 30 years, but I want CAMH to continue to lead the way in research, help families have conversations about mental health, and give people hope for the future. If my legacy gift helps one person, if it prevents another mother from losing her child, that’s more than worth it. People who are suffering need a light. CAMH is that light for so many people, and I’m proud to help it shine brighter. For me, for Matthew and for Kim.


Ways to Give and What You Need to Know

We are pleased to provide you with some information to guide conversations with loved ones and advisors.

Here are the 3 most common gifts in wills:

1. You can leave a specific dollar amount.

2. You can leave a residual bequest where you can donate a percentage or the remainder of your estate after other needs have been fulfilled.

3. You can leave a contingent bequest made on the condition of a certain event.

Your advisor will be able to provide final text, but this is a good place to start.

"I give the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation [the sum of $_________] or [___% of the residue of my estate.]"

You'll also need our address and our charitable registration number to properly update your will:

CAMH Foundation
100 Stokes Street, 5th Floor
Bell Gateway Building
Toronto, ON M6J 1H4

Charitable registration number: 106932320RR0001


Your Free Will Guide 

Mamta's Story

My son, my only son, started showing signs of depression and anxiety when he was 26. At first, he was moody, withdrawn and less communicative. Within a few weeks he went from being employee of the month to getting to work and not being able to remember his passwords to log into his computer. Alarm bells started ringing very loudly in my ears.

This was very familiar to me: my mum had a significant mental illness for most of her life and this was presenting the same way. I felt I was seeing through time. I promised myself that I would not let him become a shell of a person like my mother. I was not going to let him deal with blaming and shaming, which was very pronounced at that time in the South Asian community. He became more and more agitated, and I knew we had to go to the local hospital. My heart was breaking. I was so sad. But my sadness became frustration and anger at how he was treated in the emergency room. Like he was a number. They gave him different kinds of medication and a bunch of doctors talked to him and disagreed about his diagnosis. I just sat with him. I held his hand. 

He was back at the hospital a couple more times and it was the same frustration and trial and error. I knew he needed to go to CAMH. He agreed. Our experience from the very first moment was different. It was a welcoming, comfortable space. The doctors were caring and thorough. And my son was an ideal candidate for a pilot project in personalized medicine through DNA testing. I was overwhelmed with relief. Everything I felt about CAMH was validated when he got a proper diagnosis and got treatment that helped immediately and still helps to this day. When I made the decision to remember CAMH in my will, I talked to my son. He shares my deep gratitude for CAMH. He knows that CAMH will be there for him, even after I am gone. And he came with me to draw up my will. He wanted to be with me. He just sat with me. He held my hand.



Your Free Will Guide

Ted's Story

I've had colleagues, friends, and family all affected by mental illness in various forms, and CAMH has played a critical role in helping them recover. Directly or indirectly, mental illness affects all of us, which is why I am an enthusiastic supporter of CAMH's work. Over the past years, my interest has deepened in the hospital's research initiatives geared toward understanding and treating mental illness. 

While expanding emergency care and broadening the availability of treatment is absolutely crucial, I believe we also need to push hard on developing targeted solutions that are fine-tuned for the different ways individuals can suffer. We urgently need to make progress on deepening our understanding of the brain and sustain this effort into the future.

CAMH is responding today while investigating the future of mental illness treatment. I have tremendous confidence in CAMH: many of the research discoveries that have already been established as treatments were only notions when I first engaged with the hospital 20 years ago. And I know that 20 years from now, we will have made more astounding progress. Given the complexity of the human brain, there are more discoveries to make and more innovations to develop. That’s why CAMH is a beneficiary in my will - so I can continue to support this cause for a long time to come. My teenage daughters and I have open and honest conversations about my will and my legacy. They are reassured that they are part of my legacy, but also very proud that supporting CAMH is part of our family plan.



Your Free Will Guide