Million Minds to focus on eating disorders, Indigenous and youth mental health

12 October, 2018

Queensland Government Media Release:

10 October 2018

The Morrison Government’s $125 million mental health research mission has made child and youth mental health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health, and eating disorders the priorities for its first round of funding.

The Million Minds Research Mission, which was announced in this year’s Budget, will help an additional one million people be part of new approaches to prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat mental illness.

On World Mental Health Day, I am pleased to announce that mission’s roadmap was finalised, after extensive consultation with some of Australia’s leading experts, at the first meeting of the mission’s advisory panel held in Canberra early last week.

Over its ten year trajectory, the Million Minds Research Mission will target five broad areas of critical importance to national mental health and wellbeing. The priorities of the first round of funding will be child and youth mental health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health, and eating disorders.

These first three priorities recognise the alarming facts that more than three quarters of mental health problems begin before the age of 25, that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders experience higher levels of certain mental illness and higher rates of suicide deaths than other Australians, and that eating disorders have one of the highest mortality rates of any psychiatric illness.

Mental illness is the leading cause of both disability and premature death in Australia. Almost one in two Australians aged over 16 will experience a mental health condition at some point in their lives.

Research into causes, prevention and treatment of mental illness and suicide is vital to reduce these figures.

It will ensure that mental health and suicide prevention research is translated into practice – enabling science and services to work together to reduce the prevalence of mental illness and suicide, and improve care for those facing mental health challenges.

The Morrison Government is investing $125 million over 10 years from the Medical Research Future Fund to support innovative research into mental health and suicide prevention priorities.

I am pleased to welcome members of the advisory panel, which includes eminent researchers, clinicians, people with lived experience of mental illness and a representative of the Australian Medical Advisory Board.

As announced earlier this year, distinguished psychiatrists Professor Shitij Kapur, Assistant Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, and Professor Helen Milroy, Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health at the University of Western Australia, are co-chairs of the panel.

They are joined by:

    • Ms Judy Bentley
    • Scientia Professor Richard Bryant AC
    • Scientia Professor Helen Christensen
    • Dr Graham Gee
    • Professor Ian Hickie AM
    • Associate Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin
    • Ms Tanya Kretschmann
    • Professor Jayashri Kulkarni
    • Professor Patrick McGorry AO
    • Dr Deborah Rathjen
    • Professor Linda Richards
    • Associate Professor Dan Siskind
    • Professor Tracey Wade

The advisory panel is supported by representatives of the National Mental Health Commission, the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Department of Health.

A call will be issued later this year for research projects to be funded through the mission. Contributions from other sources will be welcomed.

The Million Minds Mission roadmap will guide investment principles, priorities and processes under the mission.

This commitment extends Government support for the 5th National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan and will ensure all Australians have access to the best possible mental health care.

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