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Gifts at Work

Private support has helped launch and sustain Depression Center research, education, and outreach efforts that would otherwise not be possible. Gifts to the Center come in many forms, from a variety of donors, and for many different reasons, but each represents a vital contribution toward finding solutions that can improve the lives of those living with depression, bipolar disorder, and related illnesses. Here are some first-hand accounts of how philanthropy has made a difference in advancing our work:

The Prechter Bipolar Research Program is appreciative of the generous support of our donors. Funds raised are used to support breakthrough research to understand the underlying causes of bipolar disorder, better understand what treatments work for whom based on how genetic profiles interact with environmental events, and find more personalized treatment strategies to improve the lives of those with this illness. Our flagship research project, the Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Disorder, provides the foundation and participants for many additional leading-edge multidisciplinary studies. The support of our donors is making a tremendous difference in understanding the nature and course of this debilitating illness, and without them the work could not be done.

– the Prechter Bipolar Research team, led by Melvin McInnis, M.D., the Thomas B. and Nancy Upjohn Woodworth Professor of Bipolar Disorder and Depression

The ‘first steps’ in research often can’t get funded by federal agencies, but are absolutely critical to establishing a program of research in any given area.  Donor support is crucial to advancing pilot research that can expand into larger-scale implementation.  Funding through the Depression Center has allowed our team to take ideas – really good ideas – and put them into action!  My research career has been propelled forward through donor support, while at the same time, our programs have touched the lives of military families across our state.  Donors make a difference.

Michelle Kees, Ph.D., leader of the HomeFront Strong resiliency program for military spouses and chair of the National Research Summit on Reserve Component Military Families, both part of Military Support Programs and Networks.

The Michael Louis Smith Fund has generously provided much-needed funding for educational and promotional materials to enhance the Depression Center’s Campus Mind Works website and outreach efforts, which provide support for University of Michigan students with mental health disorders as well as their families, friends, and instructors. We are extremely grateful for the support provided by the fund, which has allowed us to create a variety of engaging materials to reach students and increase awareness and utilization of the CMW website and support groups. In turn, this has helped students better manage their mental health while facing the challenges of college life, as well as helped reduce the stigma of mental illness on campus.

Trish Meyer, Ed.M., Depression Center Program Director for Outreach and Education

The Depression Center is honored and grateful for being chosen for several years as one of the recipients of the proceeds from the annual Mind Over Matter (M.O.M.) Race. With the proceeds from the M.O.M. Race, the Boledovich Schizophrenia Research Fund has provided seed support for a project to identify youth who are at high risk of psychosis. The aim of this project is to better understand individuals on the cusp of a psychotic breakdown, using careful clinical assessments and functional magnetic resonance imaging.  The work is conducted with collaborators at centers across the U.S., and its ultimate goal is to find ways to identify these at-risk youth and develop treatments that can prevent onset of psychosis.

– Stephan Taylor, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry

Read more stories of the crucial role that philanthropy has played in the Depression Center’s accomplishments during its first decade