$10 Million Gift for Depression Center

(December 2015) The University of Colorado Depression Center has been renamed the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center in honor of the foundation that made a $10 million grant to support the center’s work.

The Denver-based Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation’s gift is one of the largest program gifts in the history of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and it will help build an endowment to provide stable and perpetual funding for the center.

“The Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation has created new possibilities for the University of Colorado to provide mental health services and conduct critical research in our state and beyond,” said Bruce Benson, president of the University of Colorado. “CU has had a relationship with the Johnson Foundation since 1979 and we cannot thank them enough for recognizing and increasing the potential for the Depression Center to support a better quality of life for the citizens and communities CU serves.”

The Depression Center at CU Anschutz is at the forefront of increased national recognition of mental health as a major concern for individuals, families and communities. More than 1,000 Coloradans commit suicide each year, and the World Health Organization asserts that depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting 350 million people.

Yet the severe impact of depression, which a recent Journal of Clinical Psychiatry study estimated costs the U.S. economy more than $210 billion a year, has been under-recognized due to historical stigma and incomplete understanding of the science of mental health, which Depression Center research, outreach and clinical care aims to rectify.

“The exceptional work being accomplished at the Depression Center is critical to the health and wellness of the people in our state, and the center’s efforts to eliminate the stigma and improve access to high-quality mental health services are commendable. Our family foundation is honored to help elevate the conversation about mental health in Colorado, and we hope this gift inspires greater giving and understanding,” said Lynn Campion, chairman of the Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees.