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, the share of high school students who reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness increased by 40 percent between 2009 to 2019, to more than 1 in 3 students. 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.
Meeting an Immense Need
The Rutgers Youth Behavioral Health Initiative offers the strength of an internationally renowned research university and the compassionate care of a local, community-based treatment center. Located at Rutgers—New Jersey’s academic, health, and research powerhouse—the effort is meeting an immense need at a critical inflection point. By leveraging the university’s spectrum of intellectual talent, research capabilities, and clinical capacity, the initiative is building vital infrastructure to develop and expand access to comprehensive, evidence-based care for New Jersey’s young people.
The Brandt Behavioral Health Treatment Center and Residence, a cornerstone of the initiative, is New Jersey’s first treatment facility exclusively for adolescents and young adults and backed by an academic health leader like Rutgers. Upon completion, the facility will serve 220 in-patients and 1,400 out-patients per year and offer a diverse range of holistic treatment options. In partnership with Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care and Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, the initiative is also dedicated to training the next generation of mental health providers in this integrated academic, research, and clinical setting.