Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI) will receive $7 million in public and private funds to expand mental health services in Utah. Of those funds, $3.5 million is a generous donation from the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation, and $3.5 million in funding is being committed by Salt Lake County, a key partner with HMHI in expanding mental health crisis services.
“HMHI is a leader in mental health care and a pioneering force in expanding the understanding of complex functions of the brain,” says University of Utah President Taylor Randall. “This generous donation by the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation and funding from Salt Lake County will help HMHI prioritize mental health care to create better outcomes for everyone.”
The Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation has committed $3.5 million to construct what will be known as the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Integrated Healing and Innovation Center within the Kem and Carolyn Gardner Mental Health Crisis Care Center. The Integrated Healing and Innovation Center will provide legal support services, case management, medical and dental support, and mental wellness counseling.
“We are grateful to the Salt Lake County Council, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, and the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation for their continued support,” says Mark H. Rapaport, MD, CEO of HMHI. “This type of cross-sector collaboration is crucial for expanding and improving mental health care in our community and beyond.”
The Salt Lake County Council will co-sponsor $2.5 million in one-time federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars to fund a temporary mental health receiving center at the existing Huntsman Mental Health Institute. These funds will cover the cost of retrofitting and expanding an existing space at HMHI, as well as 17 months of staffing.
The council also approved funding for an additional $1 million from Mayor Jenny Wilson’s budget to go toward the building of the Kem and Carolyn Gardner Mental Health Crisis Care Center.
“These funds ensure we continue to provide exceptional care for patients in crisis,” says Michael L. Good, MD, CEO of University of Utah Health. “U of U Health greatly appreciates the advocacy and leadership of the Salt Lake County Council, Mayor Wilson, and the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation in helping to care for the mental health of our community.”
Huntsman Mental Health Institute
Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI) was established in 2021 following the Huntsman Foundation's historic gift to the University of Utah of $150 million. 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 1,691 faculty, staff, and students provide clinical, research, and training programs in over 20 locations across Utah and Idaho.
Kem and Carolyn Gardner Mental Health Crisis Care Center
When the doors of the Kem and Carolyn Gardner Crisis Care Center open in 2024, 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.
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