The school announced Wednesday that the owner of the Indianapolis Colts is donating $3 million to fund a new mental health research institute at Indiana University.
The donation, which comes from the family of Colts owner Jim Irsay, will go toward creating an institute that addresses mental health stigma, including by training more graduates to pursue careers in mental health and helping inform local and federal policy on mental health according to the school.
The institute will be named the Irsay Institute for Family Research.
“The stigma surrounding mental health is a matter of life and death, and we must do everything we can to reduce that stigma and remove this obstacle to people getting the help they need,” Irsay said in a statement. “Indiana University has already been one of the world’s leaders in the study of mental health, and we’re very excited to have such an outstanding resource in our home state, so together we can foster this important conversation.”
This initiative is part of a broader campaign called “De-Stigma” launched by Irsays in 2020 to provide more mental health awareness. The campaign also included a public service announcement earlier this fall that impressed actors Rob Lowe, Mike Epps, and rapper Snoop Dogg.
Indiana University also noted that more than $4 million was raised in May by the Colts team to fund organizations that raise visibility for mental health and provide treatment services.
The Colts said in a message posted on their website that they will sign the December 9-12 NFL team out of social media and give up their electronic devices in order to prioritize themselves and their families.
“As an organization, the Colts family is committed to mental health and working to eliminate the stigma surrounding disease,” the team said on their website.