Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, has announced a $30 million commitment from alumna Marlene Brandt ('80) in support of efforts to improve the behavioral health and well-being of young people.
The gift will support the launch of the Rutgers Initiative for Youth Behavioral Health and Well-Being and efforts to provide comprehensive mental health care to adolescents and young adults struggling with behavioral health disorders such as substance/alcohol abuse, anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, and trauma. To that end, the gift will help fund construction of a new treatment center and residence on Rutgers University–New Brunswick's George H. Cook campus and establish a new Institute for Social Emotional Wellness at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology.
Both the treatment center, which will be led by University Behavioral Health Care, and the institute will employ a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach combining resources from the departments of psychiatry at Rutgers' two medical schools, professional and graduate schools, and research labs. The university plans to raise an additional $20 million to complete construction of the center; integrate research, teaching, clinical care, and other resources across its campuses; and fund additional research, training, and faculty chairs.
"There is an increasing awareness and acceptance of the treatment of mental health issues," said Brandt, a member of the Rutgers University Foundation board. "Now is the optimal time to establish a facility that will harness the knowledge and skills of professionals who can address the needs of this particularly vulnerable segment of our population. I envision my partnership with Rutgers as a forefront solution to treat adolescents and young adults with behavioral health challenges."