The Institute for Mental Health Research


The Institute for Mental Health Research (IMHR) was founded in 2001 and is the only statewide, non-profit organization of its kind in the United States.  The Institute’s mission, in partnership with Arizona researchers and direct care providers, is to support broad based, innovative mental health research. IMHR funds mental health research across the lifespan, from childhood to late life.

Over the past ten years, IMHR has invested $1.5 million in seed grants for mental health research projects. Our scientists have leveraged these dollars to attract additional funding with a eight to one return on investment—this represents a total of more than $12 million in research dollars invested in Arizona.

Thirty-eight prestigious investigators have been funded throughout Arizona at such notable institutions as Barrow Neurological Institute, T-Gen, Mayo Clinic, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, Arizona State University and University of Arizona. Scientists are studying a broad range of diseases and conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, PTSD, resilience, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, autisme spectrum disorders and perimenopause. Successful pilot grants have resulted in significant funding from the National Institute of Mental Health and other foundations to continue this important work.


IMHR’s External Advisory Board consists of prominent scientist from across the United States. Past and present members include leading researchers from the NIH, Scripps, University of Pittsburgh, Penn State and Harvard. This board is chaired by Dr. David Kupfer, the Thomas Detre Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and Chair of the DSM-5 Task force.

Statistics show that some 57 million Americans are struggling with mental illness and that means millions more are affected as the families of these people care for their loved ones. More workers are absent from work because of stress and anxiety than because of physical illness or injury. Your donations to IMHR directly fund the research that will ultimately discover groundbreaking treatments and cures for these devastating illnesses.


To learn more, make a contribution get involved, or to schedule a presentation from a scientist, contact our Operations Director, Carol Lagesse.