Minister announces national million minds mental health mission

6 March 2018

Suicide Prevention Australia’s National Research Fund Director, Sue Murray, was honoured to sit at the table this week with some of the world’s best mental health researchers who call Australia home.

The roundtable event was hosted by Minister Hunt to begin development of what he termed the next in “a series of long term national missions.’ Listen to the interview on ABC AM by clicking on the image below.

Minister Hunt said in the interview, "So, we met yesterday with some of Australia's extraordinary mental health leaders, such as Professor Pat McGorry, Professor Helen Milroy; Ian Hickey, one of Australia's great leaders; and many, many others from right across the sector. The agreement yesterday was to work towards a national million minds mental health mission. So that's about transforming 1 million minds over the course of the next decade: of either preventing, treating or helping recovery for people. It's over and above what's already happening. We put about $4.2 billion into mental health. 

But this is the next phase, the next step, because we know that about 4 million Australians every year have mental health challenges. So what we want to do is use the Medical Research Future Fund for one of these national missions, exactly as it was intended: to transform lives, to discover new ways of treatment and to deliver people a sense of practical hope that their conditions can and will be addressed."

As many of the researchers around the table have said time and time again, investment in mental health and suicide prevention research is far from comparable to the magnitude of public health problems we face in these areas.

Suicide Prevention Australia welcomes research being a national priority, particularly given this Government’s seed funding of the Australia first National Suicide Prevention Fund last year. This fund is now operational and is welcoming applications now via the NHMRC process. We also anticipate additional offerings scholarships outside that process later this year and as we grow the fund.

Read more about sector driven suicide prevention research priorities here.

With suicide prevention now a key strategic pillar in the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan, it is essential that we continue to work together to make the most of scarce resource dollars to make the greatest positive impact on the wellbeing of Australians.

This week’s announcement of the million minds concept coupled with the existing investment in the National Suicide Prevention Fund, keeps us heading in the right direction.