Media Contacts

Jerilyn Stowe

Associate Director, Communications & PR, Huntsman Mental Health Institute
Phone: 801-243-5764

May 21, 2021 2:00 PM

Rendering of the Utah Mental Health Translational Research Building
The Utah Translational Research Building is scheduled to open in 2024. Credit: FFKR Architects.

Yesterday, during a special session of the Utah State Legislature, lawmakers approved $90 million in funding that will be combined with $65 million in funds from the Utah philanthropic community for the Utah Mental Health Translational Research Building at the University of Utah, Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI).

“The Utah Mental Health Translational Research Building is a remarkable gift to the University and the people of Utah,” said Michael Good, M.D., Interim President, University of Utah and CEO, U of U Health. “I want to thank the Utah State Legislature for prioritizing mental health and knowing that we must innovate the way we treat and solve life-threatening mental health challenges.”

Championed by Senate President Stuart Adams and Speaker Brad Wilson, funding for mental health was prioritized as part of the $1.6 billion Utah accepted in COVID-19 relief funds.

The Utah Translational Research Building will catapult Utah to the forefront of mental health research and care by creating a collaborative environment to solve mental health challenges like suicide, child and young adult mental health, rural mental health, stigma, workforce shortages, and the unknown neurological, psychiatric, and social factors created by COVID-19. In addition, educators and researchers from across the state will use the facility and partner with HMHI on treatment and training initiatives.

“This is a tremendous example of the power of state and community partnership that is laying the foundation to truly transform mental health care for the people of Utah, said Mark Rapaport, M.D., CEO, Huntsman Mental Health Institute, and chair of the Department of Psychiatry. “This new space will help Utah move toward the forefront of American psychiatry and mental health care.”

The Utah Translational Research Building will house the world’s only 7 Tesla MRI dedicated to brain research and innovative clinical interventions that will attract engineers, physicists, psychologists and researchers from around the world. It will also be the first Institution in the nation to co-locate mental health researchers with experts in science, artificial intelligence, public policy, business and law.

“Our family is so proud to be a partner with the state and university on this first-of its kind collaborative space,” said David Huntsman, President, Huntsman Foundation. “The Utah Translational Research Building will lead the way to discoveries that will change the mental health care of the people of Utah, the nation, and the world,” continued Huntsman.  

The Utah Translational Research Building will be 185,000 square feet and include wet and dry lab space. It will be located behind the current Huntsman Mental Health Institute hospital in Research Park. The new facility will allow HMHI to expand child and young adult mental health treatment programs to better meet the needs of Utah families.

Construction will begin late 2021. 


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