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Connecticut Philanthropist Donates $650 Million for Mental Illness Research

Bravo for Connecticut entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Stanley who recently committed $650 million for scientific research on the genetic contributions and molecular processes at work in severe mental illness.  This is the largest individual gift ever given for research on mental illness.  It should come as no surprise that Mr. Stanley was moved to make this momentous commitment by the experience of mental illness in his own family.  In an interview on Tuesday he referred to his son’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder as a “revelation moment” for him.

This historic gift of $650 million will be used to establish the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, based at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.  Eric S. Lander, the founder and president of the Broad Institute, said these funds could do for the understanding and treatment of serious mental illness what similarly large gifts have done for cancer research.  What an amazing contribution by a philanthropist who has felt the impact of mental illness in his own family and committed massive resources that will lighten the burden for millions of others!

You can read more about this momentous gift and its implications for mental health treatment here: New Funds Jump-Start Mental Illness Research

This recent radio interview with Ted Stanley and his son Jonathan tells the story from the family’s point of view: Son’s Mental Illness Prompts Billionaire’s Big Donation To Psychiatric Research


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6 thoughts on “Connecticut Philanthropist Donates $650 Million for Mental Illness Research

  1. Eileen McAndrews, RN, LCSW says:

    Thanks "rtor" for sharing this wonderful information!

    Finally someone with heart, honor and serious financial clout is brave enough to take a stand against mental illness. I and everyone involved in the field of Mental Health applaud this grand donation and await the advances this great gift will bring to millions of people.

    Bravo to Mr. Stanley!

  2. Jay Boll, Editor in Chief says:


    The NPR interview linked above presents a picture of a true philanthropist in the original sense of the word as one who “loves humanity.”  Although his son with bipolar disorder found a treatment that enabled him to have a good quality of life, the elder Stanley was moved by the stories of other dads whose sons did not get better.

    Here's what the son, Jonathan, had to say about his family's decision to donate $650 million, which otherwise would have gone to him… ”And a lot of rich families – a good chunk of this huge amount of money that's going to Broad – would've ended up in my bank account. All I can say is my family got it right.” 

  3. Barbara Rossi says:

    A true humanitarian! This gift will transform the field of mental health research. Thank you Mr. Stanley for providing hope to so many.

  4. Scott says:

    What a wonderful financial commitment to support much needed research on mental illness – thank you Mr. Stanley!

  5. Alison Held says:

    Big thanks to Mr. Stanley for his monetary commitment to this great cause!  Thank you RTOR for sharing such positive news in the area of mental wellness development.  

  6. Barbara Stern says:

    Huge acknowledgement and thx to Mr Stanley. With the advances in brain research, this gift will aid in major breakthrough in understanding mental illness. Mr Stanley – you are a pioneer and a hero.

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