Diseases of the brain and mind, including substance abuse, clinical depression and dementia now account for more than 40 percent of all illness.
These diseases are devastating for those affected, their families, and for society; costing the Australian economy an estimated $30 billion each year.
Up to 1.6 million Australians, 8 per cent of the population, are either permanently or transiently affected by depression or other mental illnesses during the course of a year, and about 60 percent are not receiving standard treatments.
The challenge remains to tackle and lower the incidence of mental illness in all its forms, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease. We need new insights and treatments that arise from active research and clinical collaboration.
The Brain & Mind Research Institute has a fundamental commitment to the long-neglected areas of brain and mind disorders, pursuing genuine partnerships with the wider community as a vital part of our research and activities.
In August 2010, the NSW government committed $25m in addition to a $15m contribution by the University of Sydney for the construction of a new Mental Health facility containing a dedicated in-patient research facility. The BMRI has partnered with the Local Health District to establish a new Mental Health Hospital to replace the Missenden Unit. The new hospital will be located in close proximity to the BMRI and is scheduled to open in 2014.
The synergies that arise from the sharing of unique facilities and the active intermixing of senior researchers from the basic and clinical neurosciences promotes new research discoveries into disorders of the brain and mind, providing hope for those individuals and families whose lives are devastated by these conditions.