$200 million for mental health support in Victorian primary schools
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$200 million for mental health support in Victorian primary schools

Teen-mental-health-program-for-suicide-prevention

The Victorian government has announced a $200 million investment in expanding existing mental health services at 1800 government and low-fee non-government primary schools across the state. This includes every Victorian primary school having a mental health and wellbeing leader within four years.

The funding announcement will be used to scale up a pilot program operating at 100 Victorian schools and employ a mental health and wellbeing leader at each school by 2026.

The announcement comes as the Victorian government prepares to introduce a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act to Parliament.

James Merlino, Victoria’s minister for education and mental health, said some schools would use the funding to bolster existing mental health support roles, while others would create new positions from scratch reported The Age.

He said the mental health and wellbeing leaders would be trained teachers, who would receive support and guidance from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the University of Melbourne.

“It’s about the trust and confidence that children and young people at school have with the teachers and staff,” he said.

“Having the confidence to have the conversation, talk about mental health and then through that trusted adult in the school support the child, including referring [the child] to other services.”

According to the state government, about half of all cases of anxiety, mood, impulse control, and substance use disorders manifest by the age of 14. Students struggling with their mental health also lag behind their peers throughout most of their schooling.

“We know that more than half of all mental health illnesses manifest by the age of 14. Imagine if we can identify and intervene early in grade two, three, four, five and six,” Merlino said.

James Merlino, who is Victoria’s minister for both education and mental health, said some schools would use the funding to bolster existing mental health support roles, while others would create new positions from scratch.

He said the mental health and wellbeing leaders would be trained teachers, who would receive support and guidance from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the University of Melbourne.

“It’s about the trust and confidence that children and young people at school have with the teachers and staff,” he said.

“Having the confidence to have the conversation, talk about mental health and then through that trusted adult in the school support the child, including referring [the child] to other services.”

According to the state government, about half of all cases of anxiety, mood, impulse control, and substance use disorders manifest by the age of 14. Students struggling with their mental health also lag behind their peers throughout most of their schooling.

“We know that more than half of all mental health illnesses manifest by the age of 14. Imagine if we can identify and intervene early in grade two, three, four, five and six,” Merlino said.

 

 

 

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