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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay donated $3 million to establish a new research institute at Indiana University for addressing the stigma surrounding mental health and other health challenges.

In a release, the Colts said the new Irsay Family Research Institute will be located on the IU Bloomington campus in a newly renovated space in Morrison Hall and will focus on:

  • Providing direct support and development of research and researchers interested in health and health care;
  • Conducting more advanced interdisciplinary research in the sociomedical sciences, while bringing several campus-wide efforts under a single umbrella;
  • Producing more graduates who are trained to work in the mental health field and raise awareness among all health care providers on how mental health issues complicate care for many other serious illnesses; and
  • Informing a broader local and national policy agenda relating to mental health and stigma.

“We are deeply grateful to the Irsay family and the Colts for this generous gift which will help IU continue to conduct evidence-based research and training on stigma around mental health and other medical issues,” said IU President Pamela Whitten. “We look forward to our partnership with the Colts and to the continued ground-breaking work of IU researchers at the Irsay Family Research Institute.”

The donation is part of the Irsay family’s Kicking the Stigma initiative, which raises awareness about mental health disorders and works to remove any shame and stigma associated with these illnesses.

“The stigma surrounding mental health is a matter of life and death, and we must do everything possible to lessen that stigma and remove this obstacle to people getting the help they need,” said Irsay. “Indiana University already has been one of the world’s leaders in studying mental health, and we’re so pleased this outstanding resource is in our home state so together we can advance this important conversation.”