The University of Utah has announced a $150 million commitment from the Huntsman family to establish a mental health institute.
The gift will support efforts to advance knowledge and relieve suffering through research-informed treatment of mental illness and improved services for college students. To that end, the gift will provide funding for the Department of Psychiatry and the school's full-service psychiatric hospital, the University Neuropsychiatric Institute, as well as mental health services and screenings for the university's thirty-two thousand students and rural residents of the state. In partnership with the Huntsman family, the university will work to raise additional funds in support of UNI, which is expected to be renamed the Huntsman Mental Health Institute.
Longtime supporters of the university, the Huntsman family gave $100 million to the university in 1995 to establish the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
"This [gift] is the culmination of years of interaction between the Huntsman family and UNI. This is a unique opportunity to bring together an immensely talented university with superb leadership and a philanthropic, generational commitment that we hope will only expand over time," said Huntsman Foundation CEO Peter R. Huntsman. "It is past time to change the stigma and misperceptions about mental health."
"As we face a nationwide psychiatrist shortage, this gift will allow us to support enhanced training for mental and behavioral health professionals and allow us to re-imagine care models to better address mental health needs across the state," said University of Utah Health CEO Michael Good, who also serves as senior vice president for health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine. "Over the past thirty years, the university's Department of Psychiatry and UNI have positioned the University of Utah as a regional leader in the treatment and research of mental illness. This historic donation builds on that legacy and provides the resources to scale both our clinical outreach and our research efforts."