McGowan Government launches Innovation Challenge to improve mental health outcomes for Western Australia's children and young people
Up to 10 innovators will be awarded up to $50,000 to undertake feasibility studies or build prototypes
One of these will be selected winner and be awarded up to $1.5 million to develop and implement their solution in Western Australia
Western Australian children and youth are set to benefit from a mental health innovation challenge launched by the McGowan Government during Mental Health Week.
The inaugural Innovation Challenge 2021: Child and Youth Mental Health will see the brightest minds locally, nationally and internationally compete for up to $1.5 million to develop and implement an innovative solution to address a significant child and youth mental health issue in WA.
The Challenge aligns with this year's WA Mental Health Week theme 'Mental health starts with children'.
Early childhood is a critical time for brain development and functioning. Childhood experiences build the foundations of life-long resilience, social and emotional wellbeing, and self-esteem. These are key for children to develop into compassionate, confident people.
The need for this initiative was identified by the Western Australian Future Health Research and Innovation Fund Advisory Council, which was established in 2020.
The Fund provides a secure source of funding to drive health and medical research and innovation and improve the lives of Western Australians.
In the first stage, up to 10 applicants will be awarded up to $50,000 to undertake feasibility studies and/or build prototypes, with the winning innovation receiving up to $1.5 million to develop and implement their solution.
The Future Health Research and Innovation Fund continues to deliver on the McGowan Government election commitment to grow local jobs, retain WA's brightest health and medical researchers and innovators, and attract to the State more leading research projects and partnerships from around the world.
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"I am delighted to see the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund deliver a program that, in itself, is innovative.
"Innovation is essential to improving health promotion, treatment and care.
"The McGowan Government's investment in the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund is already building a legacy for future generations, while improving health outcomes, and delivering new jobs and economic opportunities for Western Australians.
"I look forward to seeing solutions that are both transformative and disruptive to address areas of concern for the Western Australian community in the area of child and youth mental health."
Comments attributed to Mental Health Minister Stephen Dawson:
"Investing in the mental health and wellbeing of our children and young people is a priority for the McGowan Government.
"This means working together across government, the sector and with leading researchers to develop new pathways that deliver better outcomes for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
"Importantly, it also means working with young people with lived experience of mental health, alcohol or other drug issues because what we are hearing from young people is the need for their involvement at all stages.
"We have a responsibility to do all we can to create a community where children can thrive."
Minister's office - 6552 5800