Black Dog Institute praises Million Minds Mission funding for innovative mental health research
Published: 13 April, 2019
Black Dog Institute welcomes today’s Medical Research Future Fund’s Million Minds Mission announcement that will see $27.5million in funding dedicated to promoting ground-breaking research into the prevention of eating disorders, youth and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health.
Announced by the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, seven deserving projects were awarded the funding, which will encourage multidisciplinary teams of academics to undertake transformative and scalable research to improve mental health outcomes, policy and practice.
“At Black Dog Institute we want to congratulate the successful recipients of the Million Minds Mission grant for their well-deserved funding,” said Scientia Professor Helen Christensen AO, Black Dog Institute Director and Chief Scientist.
“In addition to the recipients, we also want to acknowledge the unsuccessful applicants for their hard work in providing equally valuable contributions to mental health research.”
With $125 million in funding to be provided over ten years, the Medical Research Future Fund’s Million Minds Mission is one of the few key opportunities mental health researchers have to use research to understand and cure mental health disorders.
“The Million Minds Mission is a terrific initiative,” said Christensen.
“It is intended to recognise and support next generation researchers who need opportunities to bring fresh perspectives.”
Black Dog Institute’s Research Fellow, Dr Bridianne O’Dea, describes the importance that initiatives such as the Million Minds Mission brings to early career researchers, such as herself.
“As an early career researcher, it’s so important to feel encouraged and recognised for the work you do in mental health research,” said O’Dea.
“I think it’s safe to say that most of us who enter into this field do so because we want to make a real difference, and being given the funding to deliver research that has the potential to change a lot of lives for the better is really inspiring.”
With a funding focus on research into the mental health of Australian youth and Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, the Million Minds Mission’s objectives mirror some of Black Dog Institute’s own research priorities, which include suicide prevention and youth mental illness prevention across Australia’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations.
With mental illness affecting one in five Australians and suicide rates continuing to rise over the past decade, Black Dog Institute calls for additional support to be provided through the Medical Research Future Fund.
“With today’s announcement, we can now work towards extending the Mission to new areas, focussing on early career researchers and critical infrastructure for research,” said Christensen.
“Unlike the first round of the Million Minds Mission, we would like to see broader consultation, and a commitment to fund even more transformative projects. We cannot afford not to plan for these projects given this rare opportunity.”
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