Giving for Suicide Prevention

William and Dana Starling with a mountain view in the background

Please note that this article includes discussion of issues related to mental health and suicide.

William ’75 and Dana Starling have made a $25 million commitment to the UNC School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry to create the UNC Suicide Prevention Institute. This gift will empower experts at UNC to offer cutting-edge care to patients in North Carolina while also supporting research to better understand the neurobiology of suicide and how it can be prevented.

Patrick Sullivan, MD, will serve as director of the UNC Suicide Prevention Institute. The Yeargen Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Genetics, Sullivan is a world-renowned expert in psychiatric genetics and will lead a team committed to improving outcomes for patients dealing with mental illness.

Funds from the Starlings’ gift are being put to immediate use to improve clinical outcomes for patients at UNC Health. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 10 and 34, according to CDC data collected in 2020.