Organizational History

The Need Identified

In the summer of 1999, Governor Jane Hull and the Arizona Legislature created a commission to review and make recommendations on the state of mental health services in Arizona. One of the commission's key recommendations was to investigate the feasibility of creating a world-renowned institute for mental health research in the state.

A Solution Legislated

In the ensuing two years, state legislators, scientists, and business and community leaders met to explore the creation of the Institute. In 2001, success was achieved with the passage of Senate Bill 1391 by the Arizona Legislature and signed into law by the Governor. Senate Bill 1391 provided for $5 million in State funds to the Institute to be matched by the private sector.

The Institute Created

In June 2002, the Institute was established as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit corporation. Following is a summary of the content of Senate Bill 1391, which specifies the legislative purpose and support for the Institute.

Summary - Senate Bill 1391, 45th Legislature, First Regular Session, 2001

Appropriations & Purpose:

  • Appropriated $2.5M from the medical services stabilization fund in each of FY 2001-2002 and FY 2002-2003 to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) for dollar-for-dollar matching grants from the private sector for start-up costs to establish an Arizona-based institute for mental health research.
  • The Institute is to be state-of-the-art, multi-disciplinary, and multi-institutional to improve mental health services, research, and education in Arizona.
  • Applicants for grants are to apply to the ADHS Director. ADHS shall only consider applicants that are established as non-profit entities and have agreements with public universities and research centers located in Arizona.

Legislative support is designed to: