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Maree Teesson to chair national mental health expert panel

5 April 2022
Improved prevention, diagnosis and treatment for mental health
Director of the Matilda Centre, Professor Maree Teesson AC will chair an expert advisory panel that will guide Australia's future roadmap in mental health research.

Professor Maree Teesson AC , director of the University of Sydney’s Matilda Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Health, has been appointed chair of the Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission expert advisory panel, which will guide research into mental health, focusing on prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

The Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon. Greg Hunt announced the appointment of the expert panel. Members of the Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission will provide advice on future research priorities and investment in mental health research, by reviewing the existing roadmap and developing an implementation plan.

Almost one in four Australians experience some form of mental ill health in any given year, while almost one in two Australians will experience mental ill health in their lifetime. Suicide is the leading cause of death of people aged 15 to 44 years old.

Research is essential to improve understanding of what causes and contributes to mental illness, and can lead to better prevention, diagnosis and improved treatment options.

Professor Kathy Belov, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Sydney said:

“We congratulate Professor Teesson on this significant appointment, she is an outstanding choice to lead this expert panel to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental health in Australia.”

Newly appointed chair and former National Mental Health Commissioner Professor Teesson has made a major contribution to Australian research into mental health and substance use.

Professor Maree Teesson AC

A former National Mental Health Commissioner, and in addition to Director of the Matilda Centre, Professor Teesson is Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Prevention and Early Intervention in Mental Illness and Substance Use (PREMISE), and an NHMRC Leadership Fellow. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and the Academy of Social Sciences Australia.

The Matilda Centre is multidisciplinary research centre committed to developing effective education, prevention and treatment of mental and substance use disorders.

Professor Teesson said:

“Now more than ever, mental health and wellbeing is front of mind for all Australians, and research investment should aim to reflect this,”

“The members of the panel are some of the most well-respected mental health experts in the world  - together we will help ensure mental research will benefit the community, and the people who need it most.”

Now more than ever, mental health and wellbeing is front of mind for all Australians, and research investment should aim to reflect this.
Professor Maree Teesson AC

Minster Greg Hunt said we need ongoing research into mental health so we can reduce the impact on individuals, families and communities.

“This research will ultimately improve the mental health and wellbeing of Australians, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, children and young people; and broaden our understanding of eating disorders and suicide prevention,” Minister Hunt said.

“To date, the Mission has channelled more than $64 million into important and life changing mental health research.”

The expert advisory panel members are:

  • Professor Maree Teesson AC (Chair)
  • Professor Ian Everall
  • Professor Yvonne Cadet-James
  •  Professor Helen Christensen AO
  • Ms Shannon Calvert
  • Professor Jennifer Hudson
  • Professor Susan Cotton
  • Professor Lorna Moxham

The $125 million Mission is part of the Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), which supports Australia’s best and brightest researchers to save and improve lives.

Media contact

Ivy Shih

Assistant Media and Public Relations Adviser (Health)

Kobi Print

Media and PR Adviser (Medicine and Health)

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