The Memorial Fund for Psychiatric Research
Chad’s story is a common story about a range of emotions including the sense of hopelessness felt by an individual suffering from mental illness. It’s also the story of frustration and fear felt by parents and loved ones. Access to and effectiveness of care is constantly improving. However, there is a long way to go before mental illness is seen as just another disease accompanied by a consistently positive outcome. Experts say at least one in five of us will experience mental illness in a given year.
Part of The Solution
The University of Washington's Department of Psychiatry and Chad's Legacy project have a shared vision that we can work together to create a future where mental health is an important part of overall health and mental health care is an integral part of all health care. Chad's Legacy Project helps to provide University of Washington researchers and the greater Washington State mental health community a vehicle to move toward achieving this vision, highlighting the importance of fully accessible, consistent and effective mental health care. The effort is intended to support research in the area of Mental Illness, supporting researchers to delve into work not typically supported by traditional sources, such as state and federal grants.
Solution I: Investment for Grant Writing
To begin research, traditional grants must be first written and applied for by researchers to include arguments and data that support proposed research before funds are ever received. Writing these grants carries a cost in time and resources that require initial monetary investment. Chad's Legacy Project provides a unique vehicle for researchers to collaborate and access funds that can be quickly used in the creation of critical, larger grant applications. These funds also enable collaboration between colleagues from across the university and mental health community, this collaboration is essential to innovation. By gifting these researchers part of their time, the potential is endless and can include translational research from how different types of care coordination affects outcomes, all the way to discoveries in how genetics and synapse pruning play a role in afflictions such as schizophrenia.
Solution II: Expedited Access to Grant Research Companion Studies
Funds obtained via grants are generally limited in their scope to only the proposed research idea presented. As an example, perhaps a researcher suspects that there is an opportunity for improvement in a care coordination component within a current study designed to discover a genetic cause for Bipolar Disorder. This new idea stemming from the original study would not be funded because it was not specifically included in the original writing of the grant. Through support from Chad's Legacy Project, if a new discovery is made in the course of an original study, University of Washington researchers will have the flexibility to quickly create a smaller companion study to complement the larger existing grant. The benefit is seen in savings of new grant creation costs and elimination of delay in research that perhaps should happen in tandem with the original proposal.
Call to Action
The original Chad Crooks Memorial Fund for Psychiatric Research was intentionally designed with researcher flexibility and expedited access in mind. That UW fund continues as the conduit to bring CLP funds directly into the UW system for quick access. It is a gift from Chad’s greater community to those who suffer now and for those yet to come. Empower our friends at the University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center by supporting the Chad 's Legacy Project today. Then, stay tuned for updates on the ways we are all helping to make life not just livable, but lovable for millions that today see no better path forward than just one step at a time.