Creating Breakthroughs in Mental Health

The U’s new facility aims to revolutionize brain and behavioral health research, care, and treatment

Some 970 million people worldwide—including 14 percent of adolescents—suffer from a mental health issue or drug abuse, according to the World Health Organization. Collaboration is crucial in addressing mental health challenges, and a new state-of-the-art facility dedicated to mental health and brain research is coming to the U. Last fall, Huntsman Mental Health Institute at the University of Utah—known nationally for its leading work in crisis care with the SafeUT app and 988 suicide crisis line support for Utah—broke ground on the new Utah Mental Health Translational Research Building in Research Park. 

The new 185,000-square-foot building will create a working lab for researchers and educators to collaborate across disciplines, including medicine, artificial intelligence, architecture, art, technology, public policy, business, and law. Teams will tackle such issues as suicide, child and young adult mental health, mental health stigma, workforce shortages, and mental health care access for all. 

Beyond its physical infrastructure, the initiative symbolizes a commitment to attracting top-tier leaders and researchers, enhancing educational missions, fostering creativity, and making mental health care more accessible to a broader audience, says Mark Rapaport, CEO of HMHI. The building is designed with distinctive research neighborhoods and cutting-edge technology, including the only 7-Tesla MRI machine in the world dedicated to the study of the brain and behavioral disorders. 

At the heart of this collaboration is translational research, a concept gaining momentum in research, academia, and policy, adds Rapaport. “This enables us to deliver the research, care, and treatment options to combat one of our nation’s most critical health crises,” he notes. “We want to create a place that will bring in a new era of knowledge, hope, and healing for all.”

The facility is scheduled to open in 2026 and has received the generous support of the Utah Legislature and philanthropic donors. Learn more at and follow HMHI on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, X, and LinkedIn for the latest news and other resources.


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