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‘First-ever’ strategic mental health research investment

Australian mental health researchers have been awarded funding of AU$26.2 million in what has been described as the first-ever strategic investment in the area by an Australian government.

The funding, which will be administered by the National Health and Medical Research Council, was announced on 30 November by Mark Butler, minister for mental health and ageing

AU$13m of the money will go to a targeted funding call on mental illness prevention and early intervention in children and young people.

A further AU$5m will go to the establishment of Centres of Research Excellence, focused on collaborative mental health research and the training of clinical researchers as future research leaders.

The NHMRC will devote up to AU$8m of the funding to pay for fellowships in mental health.

“The Gillard Labor Government identified mental health as a priority for this term of Government and we’re now delivering the single largest investment in new initiatives in our nation’s history,” said Butler.

“But, we also want to see long term improvements in the treatment and prevention of mental illness which is why we are making this strategic and targeted investment in mental health research.

“This is the first time any Government has made a strategic investment in mental health research and will ensure that we continue to build capacity in the mental health research workforce,” he added.