Today’s $66 million Commonwealth Government commitment to mental health research highlights the importance of deepening our understanding of mental illness and developing better treatments.
The National Mental Health Commission welcomed the announcement by Health Minister Greg Hunt of $41 million in mental health research funding through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the opening of a further $25 million grants round under the Million Minds Mission.
Chair of the National Mental Health Commission, Lucy Brogden, said the funding announcement and the Million Minds Mission firmly demonstrate an ongoing commitment to making mental health a top priority in Australia.
“Continued investment in mental health research is critically important to all Australians,” Ms Brogden said.
“I don’t think there is an Australian alive today who has not been touched in some way by mental illness, whether it is their own experience or that of a friend, colleague or family member,” she said.
“There is still so much we don’t understand about mental illness. We need to boost our understanding of the causes of mental ill health in order to drive better treatment approaches. Research is absolutely fundamental to this task.”
Ms Brogden said today’s funding commitments were also important to help build and strengthen Australia’s mental health research sector.
“This funding will enable some of our best and brightest minds to pursue a career in mental health research. Australia will reap the benefits of this investment in the years to come.”
The Commonwealth Government’s Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission aims to develop new approaches to prevent, detect, diagnose and treat mental illness.
The first round of funding will target child and youth mental health, aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health, and eating disorders.
The grants will focus on innovative, participatory, and intervention focused research into the causes of mental illness and the best early intervention, prevention and treatment strategies.
National Mental Health Commissioner Professor Helen Milroy co-chairs the expert advisory panel that will review assessed applications and make final recommendations to the Government on which projects will provide the greatest benefit to Australia.