Health Minister opens USC’s mind and neuroscience centre - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Health Minister opens USC’s mind and neuroscience centre

2 May 2018

Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt has officially opened the Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience – Thompson Institute at Birtinya.

The Thompson Institute has been established by the University of the Sunshine Coast as a hub for world-class mental health research, teaching and clinical services.

It uses a unique, integrated model of care that has already put it at the forefront of research for some of regional Australia’s most pressing mental health issues, including dementia, suicide prevention, post-traumatic stress disorder, and youth and adolescent mental health.

More than 130 guests attended the official opening today at the Thompson Institute, 12 Innovation Parkway, Birtinya.

Speakers included the Minister, USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill, USC Chancellor Sir Angus Houston, Thompson Institute Director Professor Jim Lagopoulos, Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace, and founding director of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Research Institute Maxwell Bennett.

The Thompson Institute is named after local philanthropists Roy and Nola Thompson, who donated a $7million building to the project in 2015, then provided a further $3.6million recently for the purchase of MRI scanning equipment.

Following a concerted campaign from local Federal Member Andrew Wallace, the Australian Government allocated $5million in its 2017 Budget to help the Thompson Institute create clinical treatment programs to improve youth mental health and support suicide prevention.

Professor Lagopoulos said researchers and clinicians were now working collaboratively at the Thompson Institute on long-term projects that will help improve patient outcomes.

“Over the coming years, the Thompson Institute will make major contributions to the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the brain and mind,” he said.

“We will be at the forefront of vital research in the areas of ageing, dementia and mental health issues relating to youth and adolescents.”

— Terry Walsh

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