Professor Sue Cotton, head of Orygen’s health services and outcomes research, is among a team of eight mental health experts chosen by the Australian Government to guide research funding for new approaches to mental health prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
Professor Cotton has been appointed to the Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission where she will provide advice on priorities for future research investment in mental health. With funding of $125 million through the Medical Research Future Fund, the Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission aims to improve the lives of a million Australians with mental ill-health.
Professor Cotton said she was honoured to be working with such an eminent team of experts to guide Australia’s future roadmap in mental health research.
“With almost one in four Australians experiencing mental ill-health in any given year, this funding comes at a critical time,” she said.
The Million Minds Research Mission will target groups of critical importance to national mental health and wellbeing including child and youth mental health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health, and eating disorders.
“These groups are more likely to experience poor mental health outcomes and have been identified as research investment priorities in the Million Minds Mission Roadmap,” Professor Cotton said.
“Rates of mental ill-health in Australia have been increasing and have been further escalated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused a mental health crisis in Australia.
“We need to look at novel and effective ways of reducing the burden associated with mental illness on individuals and their families.
“Continued investment in research is imperative to ensure that we have the evidence-base of what works and for whom,” Professor Cotton said.