Labor's $10 million promise for BMRI
29 February 2007
Premier Morris Iemma has promised $10 million to fund the construction of the Youth Mental Health Clinical Research Facility at the University's Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI) if a Labor government is re-elected.
The announcement, which was made at the opening of the Institute's Clinical Services and Translational Research facilities at Camperdown, will provide cutting-edge mental health research along with outreach services to areas such as Campbelltown and Liverpool.
Focussing on youth mental health, the new facility will offer 20 clinical suites for treating patients and 30 clinicians providing treatment, including 10 psychiatrists with a youth focus and 20 clinical psychologists.
Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Gavin Brown, attended the ceremony, which marked the inauguration of stage III of the BMRI.
'One in every five Australians will experience a mental health illness at some point in their life,' said Mr Iemma. 'The Brain and Mind Research Institute is building one of the best facilities of its kind in the world, bringing together patients, support groups, frontline carers, scientists and mental health clinicians,' he said.
Welcoming Mr Iemma's commitment to mental health research and treatment, Executive Director of the BMRI, Professor Ian Hickie, said: "Emotional and behavioural disorders currently account for over 60 per cent of disability costs in those aged 15-34 years, with 75 per cent of major mental illnesses starting before the age of 25."
"The health burden imposed by brain and mind disorders is large, currently accounting for 40 per cent of all health-related disability. This proportion is expected to increase rapidly in young people, due largely to the psychiatric effects of mental illness and drug abuse, and in older people due to age-related dementias," he said.
"I have to commend both the Premier and the Prime Minister for their support. They are the only politicians who have been prepared to tackle the problem of mental health. This funding represents long-term investment in continued support for mental health patients," said Professor Hickie.
Prime Minister John Howard formally opened the second stage of the institute on 5 June 2006. The BMRI has so far received $9 million from the Howard Government.
Pictured: Morris Iemma inspects a model of the BMRI with Professor Max Bennett and Professor Ian Hickie
Contact: Jake O'Shaughnessy
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