Rutgers Youth Behavioral Health Initiative

YBHI Emblem

By providing evidence-based, quality mental health care and support for young people—including youth in underserved and underrepresented communities—this initiative will be a national model of adolescent and young adult behavioral health care.

Francine Conway

Chancellor, Rutgers University–New Brunswick

Youth Behavioral Health Care—for All

Youth mental health is deteriorating at an alarming rate in New Jersey and nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data for 2021, more than 4 in 10 students felt persistently sad or hopeless and 29 percent experienced poor mental health. Yet, even as the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the teen mental health crisis, behavioral health services and facilities have remained scarce. While young people wait weeks for care, the missed opportunity for early detection, intervention, and treatment puts their futures at significant risk.

Rutgers Youth Behavioral Health Initiative

Compassionate Care

The Brandt Behavioral Health Treatment Center and Retreat will be an exceptional resource for families needing treatment for their loved ones, the first of its kind in New Jersey. It will also forge a partnership between Rutgers’ health care professionals and the communities they serve, improving mental health on a broad scale. Currently, no New Jersey facility offers treatment exclusively for adolescents and young adults, backed by an academic health leader like Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care. But alumna Marlene Brandt’s transformational $30 million gift is helping make such a facility real. Thanks to her support and the generosity of other donors, families will have access to the finest behavioral health care available—right here in New Jersey. The Brandt Behavioral Health Treatment Center and Retreat is just one way that Rutgers is shaping the future of human health and helping to make the world well.

Marlene Brandt

Marlene Brandt graduated from Rutgers in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and earned her MBA at Boston University in 1982. She built a successful career in the information technology industry before dedicating herself full time to raising her family and to her philanthropic interests. A New Jersey resident and longtime supporter of Rutgers, Brandt is an emerita member of Rutgers University Foundation Board of Directors. In 2019, inspired by her growing familiarity with the mental health crisis among America’s youth, Brandt made a gift of $30 million to launch the Rutgers Youth Behavioral Health Initiative and create the Brandt Behavioral Health Treatment Center and Retreat.

Marlene Brandt

A World-Class Facility

The Brandt Behavioral Health Treatment Center and Retreat will occupy two new buildings that provide accommodations and clinical treatment for self-pay patients, as well as a comprehensive array of coordinated outpatient services for young people and their families. Annually, the facility will be able to serve upward of 1,200 patients.

On-site accommodations will be available for individuals who want to design, in consultation with their physician and treatment team, around-the-clock care and an array of supports not subject to typical insurance plan limitations.

The treatment center will include administrative offices; therapy and treatment rooms appropriate for individual, group, or family formats; and observational rooms for patients.

Outpatient options include the full range of diagnostic services, individual and group therapy, intensive outpatient programming, and psychiatrist-delivered medication management. The program will accept the full range of private and public insurance coverages and will work with individuals who are unable to pay.

The site, on Rutgers University–New Brunswick’s George H. Cook campus, is near scenic Farrington Lake, the university’s agricultural research facility, and horse pastures.

The Brandt Behavioral Health Treatment Center and Residence Outpatient Lobby
Brandt Behavioral Health Treatment Center and Residence Groundbreaking Ceremonythumbnail

The Brandt Behavioral Health Treatment Center and Retreat Groundbreaking Ceremony