Research for tomorrow

Extraordinary advances have been made in treating serious physical health conditions. But when it comes to treating mental illnesses we have failed to invest in understanding causes despite one in two people experiencing mental distress over our lifetimes. Research into the causes, treatment and prevention of mental illness is nowhere near where it should be, leaving behind millions of people worldwide.

If we do nothing, nothing will change

Why research is vital

If you are living with a psychotic illness it can take years to get a diagnosis, let alone find a treatment that works. This is why, untreated and undertreated individuals are significantly more at risk of suicide than any group of people.

Globally there has been a drastic underfunding of mental health research over the past 50 years which means diagnosis and treatment options have had minimal advancement.

One In Five is on mission to change that. We want to find a new ways forward. We want to connect mental health champions and donors to world-class network of international scientists. Together we can bring real change to millions of people affected by mental illness.

We want to turn one in five into none in five.


Awareness is important, but it is not enough. Medical research can provide the insight we need to understand how the brain works. Research can help us make a massive step forward in the search to find a cure for mental illness.

We need direct and meaningful action if we are going to find a cure. 

Causes not symptoms
Mental illness needs a champion

Due to the lack of research funding into the causes of mental illness, there has been limited advancement in treatments available for the more complex illnesses.

Available treatments only work to reduce presentation of symptoms without addressing the underlying causes.

One In Five believes that funding research that seeks to understand the underlying causes of mental illness means that one day we will be able to offer personalised and targeted treatments the improve health outcomes for even the most complex of mental illnesses.


20% of Australians live with mental distress every year, of which:

45% will have a complex illness such as schizophrenia, anxiety, bipolar or depression.

690K of whom will be living with complex illness that is often untreated, undertreated or doesn't respond to currently available treatments

65,000 people are admitted to hospital due to self hard each year, 2/3rds of whom are women.

Current projects we are funding

Impact of COVID19 during preganancy on the brain development of the child

$40,000 | 12 months

Certain infections during pregnancy are believed to influence neonatal brain development which could form the basis for mental illness biomarkers. As COVID19 is a novel virus, this project seeks to understand to if (a) it influences brain development. (b) if it does, in what way and (c) might this place the child at risk of more complex mental illness

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One In Five and McIver Research Fellowship at the Florey

$600,000 | 3 year

Schizophrenia is a brain illness that affects the way a person thinks, feels and acts. Schizophrenia is characterised by two or more of the following symptoms: Delusions, hallucinations, disorganised speech, disorganised or catatonic behaviour or negative lifestyle symptoms such as social withdrawal, reduced motivation/interest, inappropriate responses. One of the most debilitating symptoms is reduced cognitive function.

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Understanding the role of ARX in psychiatric disorders

$20,000 | 12 months

This project stems from a recent breakthrough finding in Ass Professor Rachel Hill's laboratory whereby a new mutation in a gene called ARX in a patient with schizophrenia was identified. We now wish to understand the functional consequence of this mutation.

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Since 2003, we have raised over $2.8million, funding mental illness research to help find a cure.

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We’re making headway

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To transform mental health, we need more passionate talented researchers laser focused on understanding the causes of mental illness.

Mental illness research is stagnating due to the lack of funding for novel research the focuses on understanding the underlying biological and genetic causes of illness. There is an urgent need to support talented, early career researchers with bold ideas, who aspire to be the next generation of leaders in mental illness research.

The time is now to start funding bold and inspiring ideas by these emerging research leaders by directly funding their ideas. Together we can enable them by ensuring they are able to continue their work whilst partnering with other researchers and clinicians to ensure a truly interdisciplinary approach to mental ill-health science is acheived