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Breaking Down Barriers Through Partnership

Crisis Care Center Partner Spotlight

The University Neighborhood Partners (UNP) is a collaboration between the University of Utah and the neighborhoods located in west side Salt Lake County. Founded in 2001, UNP was established to break down the barriers that divide the west side from the University, which is perched in the east side foothills. UNP will be partnering with the Kem & Carolyn Gardner Mental Health Crisis Care Center in order to foster better relationships within the community and to break down barriers. 

University Neighborhood Partners kids in red shirts

“We believe that amazing things can come from our partnership with the center”, said Teresa Molina, Associate Director of UNP. “We want to work with the center to help different communities and groups overcome any distrust or conflict and allow them to get the best support possible for whatever problem they are facing.” 

UNP's mission is to bring together university and west side people and resources in reciprocal learning, action, and benefit. Their vision is of a community woven together through partnerships based on mutual empowerment, discovery, and learning rooted in diverse life experiences. These partnerships aim to address systemic barriers to educational success, foster increased access to higher education for community members, enrich the university's involvement in the community, and enhance the quality of life for all involved. 

UNP's values center on mutual respect, empowerment, and learning rooted in diverse life experiences. Understanding and knowledge are furthered by the open, active, and mutual sharing of information and resources. Multiple kinds of knowledge and life experiences are central to addressing social, community, and university issues. UNP works to create and sustain campus-community partnerships that are founded on shared vision and values, are beneficial to the partnering organizations, build interpersonal relationships based on trust and mutual respect, and include the voices of those impacted by the community work in the decision-making process of the partnerships. 

“There is a lot of work to be done, but we have done difficult things before”, Said Teresa Molina. “With the help of the new building, we will, hopefully, have the resources to reach across the city and the state and help people who were previously being left out.” 

About the Kem & Carolyn Gardner Mental Health Crisis Care Center

When the doors of the Kem and Carolyn Gardner Crisis Care Center open in 2025, it will be a welcoming place for all adults. The Center will help individuals de-escalate, stabilize, and connect to community resources catered to their individual mental health needs. The Center will help people facing a psychiatric crisis get on the path to mental wellness by unifying critical crisis services and many community resources in one easy-to-access location. The building design and operations will ensure patients and their families feel welcome, respected, and secure throughout every step of their care.

Researchers will work alongside clinicians, patients and their families to develop evidence-based best practices for treatment and care and develop new approaches for helping people. It will also be a site for training future generations of crisis care professionals including social workers, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, and many more. Learn more.