Carroll and Bob Pierce understand the heartache of trying to help family members with mental health concerns. Two of their four daughters began experiencing anxiety when they were in middle school.
“We had zero idea what anxiety was when our first daughter was diagnosed. I cannot overstate our ignorance,” Carroll said. “But from then on, we went headfirst into educating ourselves because we knew it was sink or swim.”
Fortunately, the Pierces’ pediatrician connected them with a wonderful psychiatrist, with whom they are still in touch today. Their daughters, now grown, are managing their own mental health care.
The Pierces realize not everyone is fortunate enough to receive such care. They know society needs more mental health clinicians, more research on mental health conditions, and greater access to treatment for all.
That’s why they are both active supporters of McLean. Carroll serves in multiple roles, including as co-chair of the Women’s Mental Health Leadership Council, a member of McLean’s National Council, and a member of the hospital’s campaign planning committee. Bob, a trustee, is approaching 12 years of service on the board.
In their philanthropy, the Pierces support multiple clinical and research programs, such as the Division of Women’s Mental Health, the College Mental Health Program, and the Center for Depression, Anxiety and Stress Research. They recently expanded their giving to include a significant capital gift that will support McLean’s plans to build a new center for women’s mental health.
Bob and Carroll said that in addition to their service work within McLean, their roles outside the hospital are important, too. Often, their association with McLean prompts dialogues about mental health.
“When I tell people I’m on the board at McLean, they become very interested,” Bob said. “It’s then easy to talk about the hospital’s extensive clinical and research programs and its incredible leadership. It just shows how common mental health issues are.”
Bob said that most people he talks with have experiences with mental health concerns to some degree. He added that the couple’s affiliation with McLean places them in welcome “ambassadorial roles.”
“Other people want to connect around these issues,” he said. “They want to know more about a potential resource, should they ever need one.”
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