BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University opened a new research institute Thursday to address the stigma surrounding mental health, according to Indiana University.
The mission of the Irsay Institute is to become, “a leading national center for addressing the stigma surrounding mental illness and other health issues such as HIV, epilepsy, cancer, dementia and addiction,” said in a press release from IU.
“The transformative research taking place at the Irsay Institute will allow IU to strengthen interdisciplinary research addressing stigma and other key health issues, while bringing several impactful campus-wide efforts under one umbrella,” said IU President, Pamela Whitten. “We are thankful to the Irsay family for their generous donation and commitment to equipping IU researchers to confront these pressing issues.”
With more than 20 sociomedical scientist, the Irsay Institue researchers are also aiming to tackle issues of substance abuse disorder, sexuality and reproduction, the health care system, global health, and the effects of climate on health. The venture was made possible, in part, due to the $3 million donation from the Jim Irsay family.
Considering that Jim Irsay is the principal owner of the colts, the Irsay Institute has a connection to advancing the goals of the Colts’ Kicking the Stigma initiative. The Kicking the Stigma initiative is, “an effort to raise awareness about mental and remove the stigma associated with mental health disorders,” as described in the IU press release.
“When we decided to launch Kicking the Stigma and address the mental health crisis in our state and country, we learned quickly that some of the nation’s best research was already taking place right here at Indiana University,” said Indianapolis Colts Vice Chair, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, and Irsay Family representative, Kalen Jackson.
In addition to Kicking the Stigma, the Irsay Institute is partnering with national organizations Project Healthy Minds, the Huntsman Mental Health Institute, Bring Change to Mind, and the World Psychiatric Association’s Together Against Stigma program.
“Through this collaboration, we have been able to develop new opportunities to escalate our scientific, policy and community efforts to improve the health of Indiana and the U.S. more broadly,” said the Director of IU’s Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services and Irsay Institute Director, Bernice Pescosolido. “With our new space in Morrison Hall and continued partnership with the Indianapolis Colts, our researchers, teachers and students will be able to push further and faster.”