Four researchers and a moderator in a panel on suicide prevention research
Four faculty members discuss their research related to suicide prevention in a panel hosted by senior national correspondent Kate Snow at a Duke Medical Alumni event in Fall 2023.

Thank you for considering a contribution in support of mental and behavioral health initiatives at Duke. We are grateful to have friends like you who share our commitment to provide compassionate patient care, train the best and brightest, and discover new therapies through creative innovation and cutting-edge research. And there are many meaningful ways to make a difference!

Giving Opportunities

To give to an area of your choosing, visit the Duke Health giving website:

Make a Gift

Support our Missions

Our philanthropic partners often choose to support one of our “greatest need” funds, listed below, or a particular clinical or research program.

Gifts to the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences' “Chair’s Priority Fund” allow the chair, Moira Rynn, MD, to say “yes” when exciting opportunities arise. Gifts to this fund might support activities such as an innovative research idea, an educational request from a resident or perhaps the expansion of a clinical program. By providing flexible support for the department’s critical mission, you’re helping us stay nimble and responsive as we strive to meet our ambitious goals in patient care, research and education.

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Next Generation Fund for Education

Training the next generation of psychologists and psychiatrists is a cornerstone of our work and a critical need for the future of behavioral health care in our communities. A gift to the Next Generation Fund for Education can support trainee professional development, sponsor well-being activities or offset the cost of important expenses such as books and board certification preparation.  

Annual philanthropic opportunities in support of the residency programs include: 

  • $5,000 – Annual spring resident retreat
  • $3,000 – Chief resident retreat
  • $1,000 – Psychiatry books for a class of residents (e.g., Stahl’s Prescriber’s Guide, Manual of Clinical Psychopharmacology or Learning Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
  • $500 – Sponsor a resident social event (e.g., Durham Bulls game, beach day picnic, night at a drive-in theater)

Annual philanthropic opportunities in support of the psychology programs include:

  • $5,000 – Annual psychology postdoctoral and internship training retreat
  • $3,000 – Sponsor psychology trainees to present at a national conference.
  • $1,000 – Psychology books for a class of psychology interns
  • $500 – Sponsor a psychology trainee social event (e.g., Durham Bulls game, beach day picnic, night at a drive-in theater)

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Innovative Research Fund

Gifts to the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences “Innovative Research Fund” provide support for a broad range of laboratory and clinical research that spans the translational continuum from bench to bedside and beyond. Explore the research section of our website or contact our vice chair for research, Jonathan Posner, MD ( to learn more about the many ways we're advancing the fields of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

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Interested in a Specific Area of Research?

Some donors may want to invest in research programs that are personally meaningful to them, such as research on a disorder that has impacted a family member. Learn more about our research programs.

To discuss philanthropic opportunities in specific areas of research, please contact Emily Espenshade, director of development for the neurosciences & behavioral health, at (919) 385-0068 or

Duke Center for Eating Disorders

At the heart of the Duke Center for Eating Disorders' mission is a desire to partner with families who are navigating the complex challenges of eating disorders, no matter their geographical location. Your generosity will directly impact the center's mission to build an engaging and supportive community, equip families with powerful information and tools, and deliver compassionate care via telehealth services.

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Jodie Neukirch Elliott Fund

Jodie Neukirch Elliott, MSW, who served as the clinical director of the Adolescents Transitioning to Leadership and Success (ATLAS) program at Duke University, passed away age 39 in August 2022. Throughout her life, Jodie used her personal experience with congenital heart disease and deep commitment to young people with chronic health conditions to create interventions and support models, directly help youth as a therapist, and mentor the next generation of healthcare transition practitioners and researchers.

Jodie’s legacy lives on through the healthcare programs she led, developed and championed to support children and young adults with chronic medical conditions. The Jodie Neukirch Elliott Fund supports programs for young adults living with chronic conditions, including ATLAS and the annual Jodie’s Prom at Duke Children's Hospital.

Read an article about Jodie

Learn More & Make a Gift

Naming Opportunities for Duke Behavioral Health North Durham

Duke Behavioral Health Center North Durham

We couldn't be more excited about the new Duke Behavioral Health North Durham at Duke Regional Hospital, which opened in the spring of 2021. It's part of a hospital expansion—the largest construction project since its doors opened in 1976—that enhances the hospital’s emergency medicine and behavioral health capabilities. 

The project increased private rooms in the emergency department and Clinical Decision Unit as well as join inpatient, outpatient and emergency behavioral health services as part of a 112,000-square-foot centralized behavioral health center, consolidating services from Duke University Hospital and Duke Regional Hospital. 

Duke Behavioral Health North Durham houses an exercise room, outdoor courtyards, natural light, a dedicated family visitation room, more group therapy space and other accommodations that enhance the patient and caregiver experiences. 

Naming opportunities start at $25,000. Please contact Emily Espenshade, director of development for the neurosciences & behavioral health, at (919) 385-0068 or to learn more.

Want to see and hear more about the new center and how it's helping us improve care for our behavioral health patients? Check out this video! 

Featured Giving Opportunity: Suicide Prevention Research

Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States, with more than 45,000 deaths reported in 2020 and an estimated 1.2 million suicide attempts each year. Identifying individuals who are at risk for suicide and developing new, effective interventions to prevent suicide are critical public health priorities. Researchers at Duke University are actively working to address this urgent need.

Our investigators are advancing the science in this area by ...

  • Studying genetic markers associated with suicide risk
  • Developing novel screening tools to help healthcare providers quickly identify patients at risk
  • Testing innovative treatment approaches that integrate established therapies with advanced technologies and dissemination strategies

The Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Duke is committed to reducing the burden of mental illness and a key objective in our mission is making progress in the prevention of suicide. Here are a few highlights of our suicide prevention research:

Contact Us 

To discuss specific giving opportunities and learn how you can help, please contact:

Emily Espenshade Headshot

Emily C. Espenshade
Director of Development for the Neurosciences & Behavioral Health
Duke Health Development and Alumni Affairs 
300 W. Morgan Street, Suite #1000
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: (919) 385-0068