A suicide prevention research program will be established at the Medical College of Wisconsin following the organization receiving a $5 million donation from Billie Kubly.
The “Dr. and Mrs. Michael C. Kubly Community-Based Suicide Prevention Research Program” will address the ongoing suicide crisis in the region and around the state. It will accelerate efforts to prevent suicide and increase access to behavioral health programs for patients and families.
Kubly and her late husband, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael Kubly, have a long history of advocacy and philanthropic investments to reduce the stigma around seeking mental health treatment. The couple has supported the development of research-based interventions and therapies. Previous gifts to MCW included donations benefitting families with young children in need of mental health services and establishing the Charles E. Kubly Chair in Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine.
The Kublys established the Charles E. Kubly Foundation to increase awareness of depression and support suicide prevention following their son Charlie’s death by suicide in 2003.
"I know that Mike would be pleased that this investment will help save lives in our community," said Billie Kubly. "MCW is a trusted community partner when it comes to mental health issues and has the capacity to bring together stakeholders who will be committed to reducing suicides."
The $5 million will be divided equally between two endowed funds. One fund will support a named faculty position for a nationally regarded leader to coordinate suicide prevention efforts, including research and community programming. The other fund will provide a source of income to support the work of this faculty member and others who are staffing and developing the programs and conducting new research.
"The pandemic has highlighted the prevalence of mental health issues in our community," said Dr. Jon Lehrmann,holder of the Charles E. Kubly Chair in Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. "The truth is that these conditions were already growing before the spread of COVID-19 and require an urgent community response."