CoMHWA News Alert
You may be interested to see à UWA gets mucho dinero for researching the emotions of people from the past who died of the Black death.
This raises many questions. If only such sums of money could be dedicated to assist people today in mental health and the community. To perhaps help people find the inner resilience to keep on going and recover. Sadly too many lose the fight. Let us all support the push to raise such sums for the present day need!!!
Courier Mail: Mental health funding left wanting as boffins get $24 million to study historical events
· Last updated: November 07, 2010
- David Murray
- From: The Sunday Mail (Qld)
- November 07, 2010 12:00AM
TAXPAYERS will fork out $24 million for boffins to study emotions from hun
- Australian of the Year Patrick McGorry
dreds of years ago while mental health research in modern Australia is desperately underfunded.
The Federal Government is promoting the massive humanities grant, which will focus on historical events such as the Black Death, as a solution to the nation’s dire mental health problems.
But Australian of the Year Patrick McGorry has criticised the lack of direct funding for mental health research.
“The Government needs to match this very generous research investment into the history of emotions with investment in the present day,” Prof McGorry said.
“That would fund an incredible transformation in mental health of young people if we were able to get a grant like that.”
The record-breaking Australian Research Council grant over seven years is more than three times the previous highest amount given to a humanities project. Four separate requests for modest funding to establish centres for research excellence in mental health were recently rejected by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
“Only 3 per cent of the National Health and Medical Research Council budget is devoted to mental health research and it’s about 14 per cent of the health burden,” Prof McGorry said yesterday.
The same money would also pay for the annual salaries of 440 new teachers, 320 nurses or 25,600 chemotherapy procedures.
Instead the grant will go to the new Centre of Excellence in the History of Emotions based at the University of Western Australia.
Researchers will focus on emotions in Europe from the years 1100 to 1800, taking in events such as the French revolution, according to the university’s website.
Centre director and historian Philippa Maddern’s key study areas will include the emotional response to the Black Death, which killed about half the population of 14th century Europe. “We know those communities survived that shock . . . I think there’s value to be made out of how did they do it,” Prof Maddern told the Campus Review newspaper.
A related Shakespearean drama production, a Baroque opera and an art exhibition will be produced as part of the research grant.
Federal Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Minister Senator Kim Carr linked the project to statistics showing almost half of Australians aged 16 to 85 years had suffered a mental disorder.
“That is why it is critical that we fund research into the way we deal with everyday problems,” Senator Carr said in a press release last month.
Australian Research Council chief executive Professor Margaret Sheil said the grant was supported by the full committee and had attracted plaudits from around the world.
“It was ranked very near to the top out of 110 bids from across the country across all disciplines,” Prof Sheil said.
“I don’t have any concerns about the size of the grant.”
Researchers from the universities of Queensland, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide also will be involved, alongside counterparts from Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and Britain.
Lyn Mahboub: Chairperson CoMHWA
on behalf of Consumers of Mental Health WA (Inc)
(A WA based Mental Health Consumer Organisation)
PO Box 682, Bentley WA 6982, Ph: 9350 8824 (Message)
Email: comhwa_inc Website: www.rfwa.org.au
ABN: 95 581 286 940