About the Ballmer Institute

UU Portland Library center
About the Ballmer Institute
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“Steve and I are excited to help bring to life this institute, which can help strengthen talent and build partnerships to create long-lasting impact for Oregon’s kids and families.” 

Connie Ballmer, Cofounder, Ballmer Group 

Launched in March 2022, this groundbreaking institute was made possible by an extraordinary gift from Connie and Steve Ballmer, co-founders of Ballmer Group Philanthropy, transforming the Pacific Northwest into a national model of thought and action addressing challenges in children’s behavioral health.

In the News

The Challenge

Pediatric groups and the U.S. Surgeon General have declared a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health. Mental health problems have increased dramatically among children and adolescents over the past decade yet most children in need of mental health support never receive it. The existing child mental health system is unprepared for the level of support our children need.  

The Opportunity

The Ballmer Institute is creating a new mental health profession that only requires an undergraduate degree to deliver services in schools, health care systems, and the community. This has never been done in the United States, but the research and evidence show this will be effective and will increase access to care. 

Our Work

The Ballmer Institute is the most comprehensive effort ever undertaken by a university and its partners to respond to the growing crisis in children’s behavioral health and well-being. Building on the UO’s legacy of excellence in psychology and prevention science, the Ballmer Institute will provide high-quality, equitable, and accessible behavioral health supports for children and adolescents. 

Our Approach

Creating a New Mental Health Workforce 

We’re meeting the behavioral needs of children with a workforce solution. Applying our expertise in student preparation, research and development, and community outreach and service, we’re creating a new mental health professional: the child behavioral health specialist.   

Delivering Support in Schools and the Community 

Working directly in schools and community settings, clinical professors will provide undergraduates with applied training in the delivery of interventions to promote well-being and prevent mental health problems from developing and worsening in children and adolescents. Through community-engaged practice, child behavioral health specialists will increase access to high-quality mental health support for children and families. 

Training Existing Youth-Serving Professionals  

Responding to requests from educators for new techniques and tools to help meet the urgent needs of their students, we created a three-course graduate-level microcredential. This opportunity allows youth-serving professionals to network and connect with individuals in their field while equipping them with evidence-based practices that can be immediately integrated into their classrooms or other settings.  

Creating New Approaches to Support Child Behavioral Health 

Our faculty will be creating interventions, technologies, and services through rigorous research efforts that ensure behavioral health and wellness programs work for all children and adolescents, prioritizing youth from historically or persistently underserved communities.   


Explore the timeline of the Ballmer Institute from inception to the current day and view all meetings with local and national organizations. 

Explore the Timeline

You can be part of this bold vision of improving the behavioral health and wellness of children and adolescents at a moment when new approaches to early detection, intervention, and service delivery are urgently needed. Give now to support the groundbreaking research and innovative work of the Ballmer Institute.

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