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About Us

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 and investment income. 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 and suicide behavior while helping to raise awareness, acceptance and community support through education.

Our Mission

The mission of the Mental Illness Research Association is to improve the mental fitness of school aged populations by presenting student, teacher, and counselor education programs which lead to increased mental awareness of mental illness, mental fitness, and suicide prevention. It is our hope that education awareness will lead to increased treatment and decreased suicide behavior and stigma.

Our Vision

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.

Board of Directors


John Williamson 
Cranbrook General Underwriters


Executive Committee

John Walsh C.P.A.
Walsh & Company


Katherine Solomon
Executive Director 


Board of Directors

Russell Carniak Esq.
Hardy, Lewis and Paige


J. Ferron

Christopher Mazur

Liberty Union Life Assurance Company


Martin Pakideh, M.D
Monroe, OB/GYN

Scott Petrovich
Regional Sales Manager – Emerson Network Power

Gregory Schwartz

Schwartz and Co. Investment Advisors

Craig Stinson
Executive Advisor, Wind Point Partners


Carl Rust
Senior Vice President Bank of Birmingham

About Us
Our Mission
Our Vision
Board of Directors
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