The Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation is donating $3.5 million to the Huntsman Mental Health Foundation (HMHF). The gift will help fund construction of the new Kem and Carolyn Gardner Mental Health Crisis Care Center.
“Gail Miller is at the forefront of every good work in the community,” said Kem Gardner, Chairman of the Gardner Company. “We are so grateful that she and the Miller family have joined us to support this very important project. This new crisis care receiving center is a major piece in addressing mental health issues in our city and county. And we believe it will be a model for the state and nation.”
The Gardner Crisis Care Center is the first building on the site of the planned Huntsman Mental Health Institute at the University of Utah (HMHI) “Campus of Hope,” meant to increase Utah’s mental health resources. Excavation has started for the 78,000-square-foot facility located near the Salt Lake County Jail and the South Salt Lake Men’s Resource Center.
When the center opens, it will be able to treat 30 people needing short-term stabilization care and treatment and provide 24 inpatient beds for patients requiring longer-term care. It will also include a medication-assisted treatment clinic for people with opiate use disorders, intensive outpatient treatment for adults needing support for substance use disorders, and mental health day treatment for adults that need more help than traditional outpatient care.
“The Huntsman Mental Health Institute is providing necessary and important mental health services for our community,” said Gail Miller, chair of the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation. “Everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. When the Huntsman family approached us about the new Kem and Carolyn Gardner Mental Health Crisis Care Center, we immediately knew we wanted to be involved. The Huntsman and Gardner families are doing important work in the mental health space, and we are grateful to partner with them.”
In addition to crisis care and stabilizing treatment, the new center will connect patients and their families with professional and social services.
“This building will be unlike any other crisis care center in the country,” says Mark Rapaport, M.D., CEO of Huntsman Mental Health Institute. “The Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation gift will support our second floor, which will house critical services.”
These critical auxiliary services will include a free law clinic to remove legal barriers that disrupt many families with mental health crises, along with access to financial services, primary care, dental care, and existing community programs for housing, health care, and unemployment.
“Our family cannot thank Gail and her family enough for their generous support of the Gardner Crisis Care Center,” Karen Huntsman said. “Gail demonstrates through a loving heart that there is nothing we cannot overcome when we work together. We appreciate the passion, support, and leadership Gail and her family bring to all the important issues they support, such as mental health. Our family is so grateful to have a beautiful relationship with the Millers.”
Researchers will work alongside clinicians, patients, and their families to develop evidence-based best practices for treatment and care and develop new approaches to healing and helping people. The center will also be a site for training future crisis care professionals, including social workers, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and others.
“The Gardner Crisis Care Center has been generously supported by the state, county and philanthropy,” said Joe Stampe, CEO of the Huntsman Mental Health Foundation. “Thanks to the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation, we have received over $28 million in philanthropic support.”
The Huntsman Mental Health Foundation is continuing to raise funds for the construction and operational expenses of the crisis care center.
About the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation
The Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation was established in 2007 to continue the philanthropic spirit exemplified by Larry and Gail Miller for future generations. The Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation supports programs that enrich lives and communities in the areas of health and medicine, shelter and food security, education and training, jobs and economic self-reliance, and cultural and spiritual enrichment.
About Huntsman Mental Health Institute
Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI) was established in 2021 following the Huntsman Foundation's historic gift of $150 million to the University of Utah. HMHI is a university-wide Institute with a reputation throughout the Mountain West as a leader in advanced psychiatric treatment and care, serving a diverse population from young children to geriatric patients. Researchers at HMHI develop and apply the most advanced methods in genetics, imaging, epidemiology, and big data analysis. HMHI is also the regional training center for psychiatry and other mental health disciplines. HMHI’s main 170-bed full-service hospital is adjacent to the University of Utah campus, and HMHI’s 1,644 faculty, staff, and students provide clinical, research, and training programs in more than 20 locations across Utah and Idaho.
About Huntsman Mental Health Foundation
The Huntsman Mental Health Foundation (HMHF) is a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was founded in 2021 to support Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI), as well as other mental health causes. Current strategic initiatives include the state-of-the-art mental health crisis care center, a translational mental health research building, a national movement to eliminate mental health and substance use disorder stigma, and various other campaigns dedicated to improving the lives of families struggling with mental illness and substance use disorders.
To make a donation to support mental health and HMHI, visit https://healthcare.utah.edu/hmhi/foundation.