Research into psychosis and suicide prevention will receive more than $2.3 million in funding through the National Health and Medical Research Council’s fellowship program, federal health minister Greg Hunt announced on 11 October.
The funding will support five researchers from Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health and the Centre for Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, in pursuing research that will reduce the impact of mental ill-health on young people, their families and society.
Orygen researchers received five of the NHMRC research fellowships available in this funding round.
The Executive Director of Orygen, Professor Patrick McGorry, said the fellowships were a vital asset and would reap a large return on investment in youth mental health for years to come.
“To receive five of these coveted and highly competitive fellowships continues to put Orygen researchers at the forefront of Australia's future mental health research,” he said.
Fellowships were awarded to the following Orygen researchers:
- Professor Sue Cotton, who will look into understanding illness trajectories and developing novel therapies for individuals with psychosis.
- Associate Professor Barnaby Nelson, who will enhance understanding of the risk factors and mechanisms driving the onset of psychosis, improve the currently available criteria for identifying psychosis risk, introduce clinical tools for identifying young people at risk of a range of psychiatric disorders, and introduce individually tailored intervention strategies for ultra-high-risk patients.
- Dr Kelly Allott, who will develop and lead a research program aimed at effectively treating both the cognitive and functioning impairments in youth mental illness.
- Dr Jo Robinson, who aims to reduce rates of suicide and suicide-related behaviour by testing an evidence-based, integrated and highly scalable program of work in north-west Melbourne.
- Dr Brian O'Donoghue, who will focus on improving physical health outcomes for young people with psychotic disorders.