Edmonton, Alberta – Canada Austin Mardon, C.M. – appointed to the Order of Canada in 2006, is pleased to announce the establishment of an endowed award/scholarship at the University of Alberta for either a person with schizophrenia or a close family member. The award named, the Catherine and Austin Mardon CM Schizophrenia Award, will be dispersed once a year in the amount of $500.
His Honour, Col. (Ret’d) the Honourable Donald S. Ethell, who is founding patron of the Lieutenant Governor’s Circle on Mental Health and Addiction, has said about the award, “I’m supportive of any initiative that works to make things a little easier for Albertans living with mental illness and to break down barriers and stigmas they may face. I hope the award will open new doors for its recipients.”
It will be administered under the Special Services department of the University of Alberta, which assists disabled students. The Director of Special Services, Dr. Wendy M. Doughty, said, “The University of Alberta is grateful for the generous donation to support students living with and experiencing schizophrenia. The Schizophrenia Award highlights the need to support our students and help remove barriers to student success. The financial commitment to endow this award demonstrates the dedication of the Mardon family to support access and opportunity at the University of Alberta.”
Austin Mardon commented that “it is noteworthy that this new award may well be the world’s first endowed scholarship at the university level that is for either a sufferer of schizophrenia or a family member.” Alberta Minister of Health Fred Horne says, “I commend Austin Mardon for creating this unique scholarship to help those affected by schizophrenia. Dr. Mardon is a remarkable advocate for greater understanding about this often misunderstood illness. The endowment award is a tribute to his tireless work to break down barriers for those struggling with schizophrenia and other mental health issues.”
Austin Mardon has said that it is his hope that this is just the first of several university endowed scholarships for the severely mentally ill that will be established at universities and colleges across Canada for those affected by schizophrenia. “Education can be a way out of
the ghetto of hopelessness that many with severe mental illnesses face. I, myself, had many barriers to my education once I became ill, some of them financial.” Austin Mardon has suffered from schizophrenia for much of his adult life and is the first person with schizophrenia to be a member of the Order of Canada. This is a devastating illness that effects 1 % of the world’s population and involves hallucinations and other thought disorders. Janseen Inc, a pharmaceutical company devoted to the treatment of this illness and to the improvement of the quality of life for all those with mental illnesses, has been kind enough to fully fund the first scholarship in the hope of inspiring others to further support the additional scholarships to come.
Those interested in donating to this scholarship please contact Riyaz Sharan, Office of Advancement, University of Alberta telephone: (780) 492-8993 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org .