Deeply rooted support for paediatric mental health

Gerald BainesThe Gerald C. Baines Foundation is helping to improve mental health care for kids and their families in rural and remote areas of the region through a recent gift to Children’s Health Foundation. The Foundation’s gift to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Care is funding a project that will enable rural physicians to better support children facing issues like depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and suicide, by providing care where they need it – in their communities.

The project is led by Dr. Margaret Steele, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre. It aims to provide a collaborative support network as well as education and updates to rural physicians on paediatric mental health issues. With the appropriate knowledge and tools, doctors can identify, assess and manage mental health issues in children earlier, and without the stresses and costs associated with a family being referred for care to an urban centre, like London.

The inspiration for the Foundation’s gift is rooted in the strong business ties forged by its namesake, Gerald Baines, in the 1950s in the tightly-knit agricultural communities of Southwestern Ontario. The roots planted by Mr. Baines hold strong today in the company he founded and in the foundation created following his 1998 battle with cancer.

“Our latest endeavor to support Child and Adolescent Mental Health in rural communities is a focus we take great pride in supporting,” says Kirk Baines, son of Gerald.   “With our deep roots in the rural community we will continue to support the efforts of Margaret Steele and her team.”

As a successful business person, Gerald Baines understood the importance of providing customized services that met the unique needs of businesses in rural communities. Now, through his foundation’s support, that same principle is helping to improve the quality of life for kids across Southwestern Ontario who are struggling with mental illness.