Ahead of World Mental Health Day, observed on October 10th, News Medical had the privilege to speak with Lea Milligan, the CEO of MQ Mental Health Research. MQ Mental Health Research is a UK-based charity founded in 2013, initially funded by the Wellcome Trust, with a mission to raise public funds for mental health research.
Their goal is to contribute to a world where mental illnesses are comprehensively understood, effectively treated, and ultimately preventable. In this interview, Lea Milligan sheds light on the organization’s pivotal role in transforming mental health and discusses the significance of World Mental Health Day’s theme, ‘mental health is a universal human right’.
Please introduce yourself, share your career background, and provide an overview of MQ Mental Health Research and its mission?
I joined MQ Mental Health Research as the CEO in early 2020. We were mid lockdown and it felt like society was waking up to how fragile both our health infrastructure was and the importance of health research.
As the world waited with bated breath for scientists to develop a vaccine for COVID, MQ was focused on what we do best. Bringing together the experts from across mental health science to identify and answer the questions about how COVID infection, lockdowns and pandemic induced anxiety was impacting the worlds mental health.
At the time MQ had been funding research for just seven years, but was already punching above it’s weight. As a global funder, MQ supports researchers worldwide and across different scientific disciplines so that we can better understand different mental health conditions, develop better treatments and improve access to them, and ultimately one day prevent mental illnesses all together.