Million minds mission brings hope


The Society for Mental Health Research is celebrating the $125 million investment by the Federal Government in the Million Minds Mission, announced in last night’s budget.

“The Society for Mental Health Research welcomes this landmark investment in mental health research by the Turnbull Government”, said President Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin. “The Million Minds Mission acknowledges the critical role that research plays in preventing, treating, and even curing mental health problems, and improving the lives of those touched by mental ill-health”.

Mental health and substance use disorders cost Australian workplaces over $11 billion every year in absenteeism, reduced productivity, and compensation claims, across all industries. The cost to the individual and their families is much greater. Focussed medical research funding for mental health and substance use disorders will pay dividends in terms of the health and economic burden borne by these diseases.

“The Million Minds Mission will work to slash the burden of mental illness by 25% within 10 years and build a pipeline of new and better treatments for mental illness into the future,” said Prof Kay-Lambkin. “Prevention and cure are the priorities.”

The Society of Mental Health Research has brought together leaders in the mental health research sector to lobby the Federal Government for increased and sustained funding specifically for mental health research.

“We were at risk of losing some of our best and brightest minds by not being able to demonstrate the value of their ideas via people and project funding”, said Professor Kay-Lambkin. “We applauded the leadership demonstrated by Minister Greg Hunt in establishing mental health as one of the key pillars of his portfolio, and he has delivered real, transformative change for the mental health research sector with the Million Minds Mission commitment last night.”

The Million Minds Mission will be established to assist an additional one million people with mental health problems to receive diagnosis and treatment, and support the translation of research into clinical trials, including addressing eating disorders. “Focused funding for mental health research will help to grow the capacity of the field to match the scale of the challenge of mental illness,” said Prof Kay-Lambkin, “By funding and linking more of the best researchers and world-leading research in mental health, we can ensure that every Australian has access to the latest, gold standard prevention, early intervention, and treatment for mental illness.”

The Society for Mental Health Research would like to acknowledge the support of its members in working with the organization to advocate for increased funding for mental health research. In particular, the REACT advocacy group spent significant time to this initiative and include:

  • Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin

  • Professor Maree Teesson

  • Associate Professor Alison Calear

  • Associate Professor Phil Batterham

  • Professor Pat McGorry

  • Professor Helen Christensen

  • Professor John McGrath

  • Professor Ian Hickie