Every year 1 in 5 of our fellow Australians; friends, family or work colleagues, will experience some form of mental illness, and almost 50% of us will be affected during our lifetime. Of most concern is the impact on many thousands of young Australians of common mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, anorexia and schizophrenia.
#OpenYourMind is an initiative of Australian Rotary Health, a not for profit organisation dedicated to funding mental health research. We hope to promote greater understanding of mental health and, through research, education and awareness reduce the myths, misunderstandings and negative attitudes surrounding mental illness that result in stigma, isolation and discrimination.
One of the most significant barriers to improving mental health treatments is the low priority given to mental health in the public health agenda. Mental health research is largely dependent on government or private funding which can be easily affected by changes in political policy and the economic climate.
In response, Australian Rotary Health established in 2000 a permanent “fund” to support mental health research in Australia on a reliable and ongoing basis. The fund supports annual Research Project Grants, Postdoctoral Fellowships and PhD Scholarships, with a focus on the Mental Health of Young Australians and the Prevention of Mental Health Disorders.
Through their work many of Australia’s best and brightest researchers have made a significant contribution to our understanding of mental health in the Australian community and to the prevention and treatment of mental illnesses that impact so many lives.
Australian Rotary Health is a registered charity supported by Rotary Clubs, businesses and individual donors throughout Australia. We’re governed by an honorary Board of Directors and advised by an honorary Research Committee of eminent medical research professionals.
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