Gary & Donna Slaight donate $1M to Pine River Institute

Landmark gift is the largest to-date to Canada’s leading long-term residential treatment centre for adolescents struggling with addiction and mental health issues.

 Toronto (October 4th, 2017)Addiction and mental health treatment is now more accessible for youth and their families thanks to a $1M personal gift from Gary and Donna Slaight to Pine River Institute. The donation will fund bursaries to eliminate the financial barrier to care, which can be a significant obstacle for families seeking treatment for an adolescent child.

Ontario families in crisis have limited options. Pine River is one of the few places where youth between the ages of 13 - 19 can get simultaneous treatment for both addiction and mental health issues. Unlike most “rehab” programs which run 21 or 30 days, there is no time limit at Pine River. Youth typically spend 14 - 16 months engaged in Pine River’s program; their treatment largely, but not entirely, covered by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, leaving families on the hook for a bill of $10,000 or more. Recognizing that many families cannot afford this expense, Pine River has offered partial subsidies since 2006 to finance program costs not covered by government or independent insurance providers.­

“Treatment is hard work and recovery takes time. The Gary & Donna Slaight Bursary Fund will ensure that any young person can access Pine River’s life-saving care and will give families the chance to focus on healing and growing alongside their child, which leads to better outcomes and sustained recovery,” said Vaughan Dowie, CEO, Pine River Institute. “We are profoundly grateful for the trust and support of Gary and Donna Slaight whose gift will benefit so many families.”

“When a child is ill, the whole family struggles. Waiting months to start treatment is a torture no family should have to endure. And, to go without is unthinkable. Donna and I are privileged to be able to help and we are excited that our gift toward bursaries will make it possible for more youth and their families to access Pine River’s exceptional care. Because, every young person deserves the chance to build a healthy and productive life,” said Gary Slaight.