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Alumna Marlene Brandt adressing crowd
Alumna Marlene Brandt donated $30 million to help create the Rutgers Initiative for Youth Behavioral Health and Well-Being. A big part of the initiative, the Brandt Behavioral Health Treatment Center and Residence, is scheduled to open in May 2023.
Photography by John O’Boyle

Alumna Marlene Brandt, who committed $30 million to help create the Rutgers Initiative for Youth Behavioral Health and Well-Being, presided over a groundbreaking ceremony in October for the Brandt Behavioral Health Treatment Center and Residence, the cornerstone of the initiative. Brandt RC’80 wants to help New Jersey families find the best of care for young people in the Garden State. “This project was inspired by a lifelong connection to mental health challenges,” Brandt said during the ceremony. “It was emboldened by endless frustrations in seeking curative measures. Most importantly, it was ignited by personal triumph.”

“New Jersey families often resort to out-of-state options to receive support,” said Francine Conway, chancellor-provost of Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “It is heartbreaking to hear the stories of parents desperately trying to help their children.”

More than one in five adolescents develop a serious mental health disorder, according to statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health, and young adults aged 18 to 25 are particularly vulnerable. The center will deploy the most advanced practices in psychiatry and psychology as well as draw from the best of evidence-based research and interdisciplinary treatment. The program will implement the collaborative benefits of medicine, individual and group therapy, education, nutrition, physical activity, and diversified arts to provide a comprehensive and holistic experience for patients.