A new initiative will provide secondary students throughout Victoria with access to mental health professionals at school.
The Victorian Government’s new $51.2 million Mental Health in Schools program will allow government schools across the state to employ qualified mental health professionals such as counsellors, youth workers or psychologists.
“We know that when our kids are happy and healthy they can focus on their learning and have the best opportunity to succeed in education and excel in life. That is why we are providing additional funding to ensure that every child is supported to achieve their best,” said Victorian Minister for Education James Merlino.
Mental health professionals will provide direct counselling support and other early intervention services for students that need it, as well as coordinating support for students with severe needs.
They will also lead prevention activities by equipping school staff with skills to manage student mental health, and will help with mental health promotion and prevention programs and strategies.
“More health professionals in schools will mean the kids who need extra help will get it, and won’t be left behind,” added Minister Merlino.
The Victorian Government will also partner with the Orygen National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health to promote student wellbeing within secondary schools.
Schools will receive access to expert advice online through a central web portal which will support school-based health and wellbeing teams to deliver mental health plans and support to students, and receive advice on how schools should interact with allied community and health services.
Government secondary schools will receive between one and five days a week of support from a mental health professional, depending on enrolment numbers.