David Winston Turner Endowment Fund
Using the latest thinking in brain research, BrainPark – The David W. Turner Research Clinic, will empower people with compulsivity disorders to create healthier lives for themselves.
When the late David Turner enrolled at Monash in 1962 to study business and economics, it would have seemed implausible that the fledgling university would one day establish a groundbreaking mental health clinic in his name.
But thanks to provisions made in the former stockbroker’s will, an extraordinary new facility will soon open its doors to people struggling with a range of compulsive behaviours, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, gambling and drug abuse.
Using the latest thinking in brain research, BrainPark – The David W. Turner Research Clinic will empower people with compulsivity disorders to create healthier lives for themselves.
BrainPark is a radical departure from a traditional research lab, clinic or mainstream service. Focusing on simple, cheap and non-invasive interventions – including physical exercise, meditation, cognitive training, virtual reality and brain stimulation – the clinic will concentrate on treating the underlying neurological, psychological and environmental drivers of addictive and compulsive behaviours.
Professor Murat Yücel, who holds the David W. Turner Chair in Addiction and Mental Health Research, and whose work is made possible by funding from the late David Turner’s estate, says the new clinic is addressing a critical need.
“Australians have some of the highest rates of addictive and compulsive problems in the world,” Professor Yücel says. “But by some estimates 80 per cent of those needing help won’t engage with treatment services. And those who do engage usually relapse.”
It’s fitting that Turner’s legacy transcends his academic experience studying business and economics, and his professional career in stockbroking, but instead honours his enduring interest in mental health research and his desire to improve the lives of people struggling with mental illness.
“Advancing understanding of mental health was of great importance to David, which is reflected in the mission of the David Winston Turner Endowment Fund,” says Monash alumna Anne Marie Gasbarro, a trustee of the fund. “As a Monash alumnus I’m sure he would have been delighted to know that such life-changing work will be delivered at the new clinic at his university.”
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