Honoring a life by investing in research and education to improve children’s lives
With therapy and the support of his family, Todd Ouida had successfully triumphed over years of debilitating childhood anxiety to earn a degree in psychology from U-M in 1998. Then, just as he was beginning his professional career, Todd lost his life in the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks. As a tribute to their son’s giving spirit and strength of character, Herb and Andrea Ouida established a permanent endowment in Todd’s name at the Depression Center. Their gift has built an enduring legacy to honor Todd’s memory by investing in education and research to improve the lives of other children with anxiety and depressive disorders.
TheTodd Ouida Clinical Scholars Award and Annual Lecture in Childhood Anxiety and Depression, created in 2002 through the Ouida endowment, ensure that generations of talented clinicians and researchers in the field of childhood anxiety and depression can pursue and disseminate breakthroughs in knowledge and treatment, ultimately benefiting young people facing challenges similar to those Todd overcame. The clinical scholar awards are designed to further the work of outstanding young researchers for whom the support of private resources is essential in their early careers. Such funds provide powerful leverage in helping young investigators achieve successes that will enable them to become eligible for additional funding from grant-making entities later in their careers.
At the annual Todd Ouida lecture, held each fall at the Depression Center, distinguished guest lecturers deliver engaging presentations on the latest advances in childhood anxiety and depression. The lectures provide a unique learning opportunity for young researchers, faculty, trainees, students, and the community to deepen understanding, share insights, and explore new ideas.
Other child and adolescent programs benefit in meaningful ways from the Todd Ouida Children’s Foundation’s additional annual gifts to the Depression Center that support new clinical and research initiatives. These gifts have helped sustain programs focused on strengthening mother-child interactions, improving parenting skills, and building secure attachments. They have also supported interventions developed specifically for high-risk children and their caregivers, setting them on a path towards greater social-emotional competence and success.
As the Ouidas’ support demonstrates, donors are essential partners in helping advance research and train the next generation of clinical scholars. The Ouida family’s goal has been to transform their tragedy “into hope for other people in Todd’s name and spirit,” says Herb Ouida. The Ouidas’ insightful and generous support for those who are dedicated to early intervention for childhood anxiety and depression aligns perfectly with the Depression Center’s mission.