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NHMRC

$5 million for mental health research

Summary media release information

Date: 
31 January 2013
Type: 
Ministerial Media Release
Contact for further information: 
Minister’s Office: 02 6277 7220 NHMRC Media Team: 0422 008 512

THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
Minister for Health

THE HON MARK BUTLER MP
The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing
Minister for Social Inclusion
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform

Suicide prevention, substance abuse and better mental health planning will be the focus of research efforts at two new Centres of Research Excellence based at the University of NSW.

Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek and Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler today opened the two new Centres of Research Excellence in Sydney which will focus their work on mental health.

Ms Plibersek said the centres formed part of the government’s 2011 Budget commitment of $26.2 million over five years to strategic investment in mental health research.

“Minister Butler and I are delighted to open these Centres as part of the Government’s strategic investment in mental health research priorities through the National Health and Medical Research Council,” Ms Plibersek said.

“Centres of Research Excellence work to achieve real health gains for Australians. They support the transfer of research outcomes into improved knowledge, better health systems and improved treatment for individuals and their families.”

Mr Butler said the two centres would play an important role in advancing our understanding of correlations between substance use and mental health, as well as improve suicide prevention efforts.

“Mental health and substance use disorders account for more years of life lost due to disability than any other disorders, and often occur together, affecting more than 300,000 Australians every year.”

“These two research centres will identify strategies which encourage people to seek help, and give us better evidence about the appropriate mix of services and support, and help us better understand the impact of substance use on mental health.”

“I look forward to the seeing the outcomes produced by both the Centre for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention and  Centre for Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use Translating Innovative Prevention and Treatment,” Mr Butler said.  

Details of the Centres:

  • Professor Helen Christensen, UNSW Black Dog Institute received $2.5 million to improve suicide prevention in Australia through better implementation of effective interventions, improved risk identification and evidence informed policy.
  • Professor Maree Teesson, UNSW National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre received $2.5 million to address mental health and substance use and to translate innovative prevention and treatment.

Media contacts:
 

Minister Butler:              Brooke Wylie 0408 833 967
Minister Plibersek:         Paul Perry 02 6277 7220

NHMRC CRE Funding Recipients and Projects

CRE Population Health

Research Institution:
University of New South Wales, Black Dog Institute
Title:
Centre of Research Excellence for improving suicide prevention in Australia through better implementation of effective interventions, improved risk identification and evidence informed policy.
Researcher:
Professor Helen Christensen
Funding amount:
$2.5 million

Suicide is the most common cause of death in Australians aged 15-44. This Centre of Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention aims to bring together leading experts in Australia and New Zealand to undertake the research work needed to determine the best way to deliver interventions to those at risk, to develop better understanding of the complex pathways that lead to suicide, to encourage help seeking and to prioritise which programs and services should be financially supported by government.

CRE Health Services

Research Institution:
University of New South Wales, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre
Title:
Centre of Research Excellence in mental health and substance use: translating innovative prevention and treatment.
Researcher:
Professor Maree Teesson
Funding amount:
$2.5 million

The top ten causes of burden of disease in young Australians are dominated by mental and substance abuse disorders. These disorders often occur together (comorbidity); yet, people with both mental and substance use disorders rarely have both disorders effectively treated. This Centre of Research will tackle prevention and treatment for people with both mental and substance use disorders.