$35.7 Million for Research for Better Mental Health

ARCHIVED CONTENT – For reference purposes only

Summary media release information

17 October 2011
Ministerial Media Release
Contact for further information: 
Virginia Kim, 0407 415 484

Australians living with mental illness will benefit from 61 new research grants announced today by the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler.

Researchers across Australia will receive $35.7 million, through the National Health and Medical Research Council, to fund research into the mental health disorders that affect one in five Australians at some point in their life.

“Australia has a strong history of pushing the boundaries in successful mental health research.  Australians developed the first effective drug treatment for mental health, new diagnostic methods and early intervention to ensure that young people receive the care that they need,” Mr Butler said.

“The grants announced today will ensure that both young and established researchers are supported to develop successful careers in mental health research, ensuring that Australia continues to contribute to better diagnosis, care and recovery.”

Mental health researchers will be funded to work across the range of mental health disorders including the link between diet and depression, hormonal effects on the development of schizophrenia and depression in heart attack survivors.

  • Mental disorders in men and role of diet are the focus of research being carried out by Dr Felice Jacka of Deakin University.  Following on from her successful research into women’s mental health, Dr Jacka will receive $292,900 to determine the extent to which diet quality is linked to depression and anxiety in men.
  • Professor Cynthia Weickert of the University of New South Wales will receive $328,175 to investigate how sex hormones potentially influence the onset of schizophrenia in young men.  This research has the potential to support the development of gender and age specific prevention and treatment, reducing psychosis, social and occupational dysfunction and difficulties in thinking in vulnerable groups.
  • Professor Brian Oldenburg of Monash University will receive $851,075 to research the complex biological and psychological relationships between depression/anxiety and heart disease in people who have survived a heart attack, to reduce the burden on the healthcare system as well as individual patient’s lives.

Further information on all NHMRC grants announced today can be found at www.nhmrc.gov.au.