Date published: 
4 April 2022
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

The Australian Government has appointed mental health experts to the Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission, who will guide research into mental health, including looking at prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Almost one in four Australians experience some form of mental ill health in any given year, while almost one in two Australians will experience mental ill health in their lifetime. Mental illness significantly increases the risk of suicide, the leading cause of death of people aged 15–44.

Research is essential to improve our understanding of what causes and contributes to mental illness. It can also lead to better prevention, diagnosis and improved treatment options.

The panel will be chaired by former National Mental Health Commissioner, Professor Maree Teesson, who has made a major contribution to Australian research into mental health and substance use.

The new expert panel will provide advice on priorities for future research investment through the Mission by reviewing the existing Roadmap and developing an Implementation Plan.

An evaluation of the Mission is already under way to assess progress in line with its original goals. This evaluation will inform the new panel’s work.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said we need ongoing research into mental health so we can reduce the impact on individuals, families and communities.

“This research will ultimately improve the mental health and wellbeing of Australians, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, children and young people; and broaden our understanding of eating disorders and suicide prevention,” Minister Hunt said.

“To date, the Mission has channelled more than $64 million into important and life changing mental health research.”

The expert advisory panel members are:

  • Professor Maree Teesson AC (Chair)
  • Professor Ian Everall
  • Professor Yvonne Cadet-James
  • Professor Helen Christensen
  • Ms Shannon Calvert
  • Professor Jennifer Hudson
  • Professor Susan Cotton
  • Professor Lorna Moxham

The $125 million Mission is part of the Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), which supports Australia’s best and brightest researchers to save lives and improve lives.

The $20 billion MRFF is a long-term, sustainable investment in Australian health and medical research, helping to improve lives, build the economy and contribute to the sustainability of the health system, which ensures a guaranteed funding stream to support Australia’s best and brightest health researchers.

Further information about the MRFF is available at www.health.gov.au/mrff.

The Morrison Government has made mental health and suicide prevention a national priority and we are committed to investing in mental health services for all Australians—a key pillar of our Long-Term National Health Plan.

As a result of our investments, funding for mental health and suicide prevention services through the Health portfolio have increased to a record $6.8 billion in 2022-23, more than doubling since 2012-13.

Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health.

If you are concerned about suicide, living with someone who is considering suicide, or bereaved by suicide, the Suicide Call Back Service is available at 1300 659 467or www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au.

Young Australians needing support can access free services through Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), their local headspace or online through eheadspace (https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/).

Ministers: