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Mental As 2015
Media Release

19 October 2015

The Society for Mental Health Research, in partnership with the ABC, are pleased to announce that over $365,000 has been raised via generous donations from the general public in the second Mental As… campaign for Mental Health Week 2015.


“In the first week of October, the ABC shined a light on those experiencing the highs and lows of mental illness, the amazing support networks of family and friends around them, and the skilful, wonderful service providers who are working together to improve the lives of so many” said Professor Patrick McGorry AO, President of the Society for Mental Health Research (SMHR).  “We are so grateful to the many ABC staff and Australian public figures who gave their time to this important initiative again this year.”


SMHR will keep up this momentum, and in particular, continue to highlight the transformative role that research plays in developing better treatments, better outcomes, and a fairer go for mental health and illness.


“We hope the public has learned that, just like in Cancer, research is the key to discovering better treatments for mental ill-health, to find ways to better match people to the best treatment for them at the time they need it, and to develop new understandings about how and why mental illness develops in some people and not others,” Professor McGorry said.


The Society for Mental Health Research is working with the corporate sector on sponsorship opportunities for key mental health research projects in 2016 and beyond.  “Corporations can have a genuine role in shaping where our mental health research effort is focused over the next five years; and help Australia stay at the forefront of discovery in mental health,” said Professor McGorry.  “Mental health and substance use disorders cost Australian workplaces over $11 billion every year in absenteeism, reduced productivity, and compensation claims, across all industries.  Research is fundamental to developing and implementing effective mental health interventions and initiatives to address these issues.”


But more research is needed, and more funding for research is desperately required so that the Society’s researchers can continue their work.


There are a number of ways that the general public can support mental health research.  The SMHR has launched a new regular giving program called Mental Health Champions for people who remain committed to ensuring more research funding for mental illness breakthroughs and cures.


“Australians can still donate to mental health research by going to our website at www.smhr.org.au, or by SMSing Mental As to 0455 021 021,” urged Professor McGorry.  “The next big breakthrough could be just around the corner.”


Contact: Jo Fitzsimons, [email protected]


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