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Professor Ian Hickie awarded Australia's top mental health prize

18 November 2021
Mental health expert honoured

Brain and Mind Centre co-director, Professor Ian Hickie AM, has been named dual winner of the 2021 Australian Mental Health Prize.

Professor Ian Hickie

Professor Ian Hickie AM

The 2021 Australian Mental Health Prize has been awarded to Professor Ian Hickie AM, co-director of the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre. Professor Hickie was announced as a dual winner of the prize along with Honor Eastly, a mental health advocate, writer and podcaster.

Professor Hickie is an internationally renowned researcher in depression, early intervention and youth mental health. He was founding CEO of beyondblue and helped create headspace and the Young & Well Cooperative Research Centre. He was also an inaugural Commissioner on Australia’s National Mental Health Commission overseeing enhanced accountability for mental health reform and suicide prevention.

He was also recognised this week in the prestigious 2021 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers List, which identifies researchers who are world-leading experts in their fields. 

Lucy Brogden AM, co-Chair of the Australian Mental Health Prize Advisory Group said: "The 2021 winners of the Australian Mental Health Prize are two outstanding Australians. Their contributions to the mental health sector reflect the breadth of work being done. Honor and Ian are strong advocates, using their voices and in fact the voices of many to improve participation, to improve access and to improve care."

“After 30 years of our national mental health strategy, we can’t simply do more of the same and expect to get different outcomes for those most affected.
Professor Ian Hickie AM

“It’s very humbling to receive this most prestigious award,” said Professor Hickie.

“I assume that it is far less about ‘me’ and much more about ‘us’ – meaning that it reflects a wider appreciation of the collective value of the various teams that I have been privileged either to lead or those where I have been an integral member.”

As one of the dual winners of the prize Professor Hickie will continue to advocate for a modern approach to mental health.

“We need much smarter, 21st century approaches to the implementation of effective public health and health services investments across our nation that really have a chance of delivering greater mental wealth for all who reside here,” Professor Hickie said.

“After 30 years of our national mental health strategy, we can’t simply do more of the same and expect to get different outcomes for those most affected.

“To achieve better outcomes, we need smart regional implementation of the best social and health services options, co-designed with local communities, supported by 21st century technologies and linked to clear prioritisation of those in greatest need.”

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