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University of Utah Gets $150Mln to Expand Mental Health Care Services

The University of Utah has received a major gift to establish a mental health institute and extend various services to its students.

On Monday, the university announced the commitment of $150 million from the family of late Jon M. Huntsman to establish the Huntsman Mental Health Institute, which will conduct research, care, education, and community outreach.

Along with extending care for rural areas across the state, the gift will support mental health services and screenings for the university’s 32,000 students.

In the last few decades, campuses have seen an overall increase in mental health problems experienced by students with anxiety and depression being the top two mental health concerns across all sectors.

“This grant 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 Peter R. Huntsman, CEO, Huntsman Foundation.

“It is past time to change the stigma and misperceptions about mental health.”

A recent survey by META, a teletherapy tech company found that half of the college students don’t access mental health services and support on campus due to stigma associated with it.

The university also plans to use a part of the gift to support its Department of Psychiatry and full-service psychiatric hospital and recruit a new chair of the Department of Psychiatry who will also serve as the CEO of the Huntsman Institute.

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