Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI) welcomes major investment
11 May 2006
The Directors of the Brain and Mind Research Institute today welcomed the substantial new investments by the Iemma Government in mental heatlh services and research infrastructure. Among the $33 million announced, $6 million is tageted to develoment of new specialised mental heatlh and neurological outpatient services at the BMRI.
Professor Ian Hickie AM, Executive Director, said that at a time when youth mental was central to the national health and social agenda, this new style of university and government partnership was critical.
"At the BMRI we focus on bringing new specialised services to young people with emerging mental illness. This is one of those areas where state, federal and university monies can be brought together to deliver new and innovative treatments. These collaborative arrangements will not only bolster essential mental health research but also improve the quality of specialist mental health and neurological services provided in this state."
Professor Hickie went on to say "The leadership shown by the NSW Premier now means that we have a real chance of getting meaningful results from the COAG process. NSW is now the first state to deliver a meaningful and complementary response to the investments previously announced by the Prime Minister. This announcement clearly signals a new direction in the organisation and provision of high quality and community-based mental health services."
Professor Max Bennett AO, Scientific Director of the BMRI, commented that the BMRI was established two years ago in order to take advantage of the revolution in the brain sciences for the purposes of ameliorating a range of brain diseases, especially mental illness. This revolution has occurred as a consequence of the completion of the human genome and the development of ever more powerful non-invasive brain imaging machines (PET, fMRI).
He went on to say "Having created a multidisciplinary environment in which the latest technologies for brain research are available, members of the Institute are now anxious to translate the fruits of their research to the well being of those with brain and mind diseases. The magnificent contribution of the Iemma Government to the refurbishment of a building for such translational activities, immediately adjacent to the Institute's research building, will now allow this to happen."
The Brain and Mind Research Institute is a major development of the University of Sydney devoted to unravelling the causes of illnesses such as major depression, schizophrenia, dementia, stroke, Parkinsons Disease, multiple sclerosis and alcohol and drug abuse. These disorders account for over 40 per cent of disability costs in Australia. The Institute acts as a hub for over 60 independently funded brain research laboratories at Sydney University.
The Brain and Mind Research Institute also received $2 million dollars committed in the Federal Governments 2006 budget, the announcement brings to over $9 million the amount provided by the Howard Government to the Institute over the last twelve months to develop this unique medical research facility.
Contact: Jake O'Shaughnessy
Phone: Ph: +61 2 9351 4312 or M: 0421 617 861