The Mental Illness Research Association (MIRA) is a Southeastern Michigan based non-profit organization. MIRA was established in 1993 by Patrick Elwell Sr. and a group of friends in a back room of Patrick’s Restaurant in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Many of MIRA’s founders had family members with mental illness, while others were interested professionals, or simply people who realized a need and wanted to help. Since inception, MIRA’s work has resulted in positive progress. We have funded over thirty research grants for scientists whose work has provided valuable insight into the physical basis of mental illnesses. We have educated thousands about mental illnesses and the stigma. MIRA’s original purpose was to find cures for mental illnesses and other brain disorders through funding brain research. Over the past 23 years, MIRA has funded research for autism, depression, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, addictive disorders, geriatric depression, bi-polar depression, suicide and more.  Currently, MIRA works to educate and erase the destructive myths surrounding the stigma of mental illness that block proper diagnosis and treatment for millions of Americans each year. MIRA has worked with over 1,000 schools in Michigan, several churches, civic organizations, and corporate heads of Human Resource departments, to provide them with the most current information available on brain disorders. Today, we reaffirm our dedication to achieving the following goals:  Education, De-Stigmatization, and Understanding.


The mission of the Mental Illness Research Association is to improve the lives of people with brain disorders by presenting student, teacher, and counselor education programs which lead to increased treatment and decreased stigma; and by supporting service and research communities focused on improved treatment and cures.


The Mental Illness Research Association is a Michigan based not for profit, 501(c)(3), tax exempt organization. We fully support our education program with funds raised through our annual events. With a voluntary president and board, we are able to put more of your fundraising dollars back into our mission. When you support MIRA you support the destigmatization of mental illness while helping to raise awareness, acceptance and community support through education.