Building Hope Together: Huntsman Mental Health Institute

February 20, 2024

Media Contact:
Patricia Brandt
Manager, Public Relations and Communications, Huntsman Mental Health Institute University of Utah Health

Información en español

Huntsman Mental Health Institute at the University of Utah released its 2023 annual report summarizing 12 months of innovative research, comprehensive patient care, and developing future mental health professionals. 

“It takes the courage of many to identify a problem and then develop methods to tackle it, piece by piece, conversation by conversation, person by person”, said Mark H. Rapaport, MD, CEO, Huntsman Mental Health Institute. “I’m incredibly proud of the remarkable progress we made this past year on a journey that will span many years and ultimately build hope through innovative ideas, universal acceptance, and deep engagement within the communities we serve.”


Comprehensive patient care:

  • Our 1,500 employees cared for more than 16,000 patients, 96% of whom were based in Utah. Those patients made 72,500 visits to Huntsman Mental Health Institute in 2023.
  • Partnered with state and behavioral health stakeholders to conduct statewide needs assessment and collaborated on Utah’s Behavioral Health Master Plan.
  • Expanded and refined specialty care at the Treatment-Resistant Mood Disorder clinic and refined electroconvulsive therapy to provide an improved quality of life for those struggling with bipolar disorder.
  • Expanded therapies for medication-resistant mental health conditions through innovative programs such as Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy at the Park City clinic.

Leading practices in crisis care:

  • More than 1,000,000 SafeUT chat messages were facilitated for K-12 and higher education students, teachers, and staff, and 536 lifesaving interventions were made directly through the SafeUT app.
  • The Receiving Center began and completed an expansion to double capacity to serve more people in crisis, giving them an alternative to the emergency room and building a pathway to the 2025 opening of the Kem and Carolyn Gardner Mental Health Crisis Care Center.
  • Mental Health First Responders (MH1) served 221 University of Utah students in crisis, resulting in 93% of respondents diverted from the emergency room and preventing 86% of respondents from law enforcement involvement.

Bold research collaborations:

  • Built and continued 32 national and international research collaborations and celebrated national papers published on Genetics of Suicide Study and Overthinking Teens Rumination-Focused DBT Study.
  • Huntsman Mental Health Institute hosted the inaugural Mental Health, Brain, and Behavioral Science Research Day bringing together people from across the University of Utah campus to share their work and ideas.
  • Broke ground on the new Mental Health Translational Research Building.

Breaking mental health stigma and elevating the importance of mental health:

  • Launched a national anti-stigma campaign in collaboration with the Ad Council.
  • Pursued legislative support for mental health initiatives to help the state of Utah, including expansion of the crisis care continuum with HB 71, titled “Behavioral Health Crisis Response Commission Amendments.”
  • Expanded the Huntsman Mental Health Foundation’s ability to support donor giving to support many aspects of mental health care.

Building the future of mental health care:

  • Launched a new six-week music therapy internship program to increase the number of certified music therapists in Utah.
  • Expanded residency opportunities in general psychiatry to 14 places per year, including rural Idaho, and dedicated research tracks.
  • Increased general psychiatry residents by 22% over two years and psychiatry program applicants increased 42% over two years.

Read the annual report now

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About Huntsman Mental Health Institute
Huntsman Mental Health Institute at the University of Utah brings together 75 years of patient care, research, and education into one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers focused on mental health. Nestled in the campus of University of Utah, Huntsman Mental Health Institute serves the community with 1,600 faculty and staff in 20 locations providing inpatient and outpatient services for youth, teens, and adults as well as a comprehensive crisis care model which includes the nationally recognized SafeUT app and the 988 Crisis hotline for Utah. Our mission is to advance mental health knowledge, hope, and healing for all. Learn more at: and join the conversation on InstagramFacebookTikTokX and LinkedIn.