Mental health support for G21 region students

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Health and Wellbeing Pillar

G21 region schools will be part of the State Government's roll-out of mental health professionals to Victorian government schools in order to reduce the number of young Victorians tragically taking their own life.

Premier Daniel Andrews, Minister for Education James Merlino and Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley today (8 May 2019) announced the first schools that will receive support under the Mental Health Practitioners in Schools initiative.

The $51.2 million program will start in 33 secondary schools in term 3 of 2019 in Melbourne’s south east suburbs – from Albert Park College to Frankston High.

However, in term 4, the program will expand to 21 secondary school campuses in the state’s south west – from Geelong High School through to Colac Secondary College.

The program will employ more than 190 qualified mental health professionals across the state, including psychologists, social workers and mental health nurses.

The Mental Health Practitioners will offer counselling and early intervention services, as well as coordinating support for students with complex needs, linking in with broader allied community and health services.

Every government secondary school will receive between one and five-days-a-week of support from a mental health practitioner depending on its size, requirements and existing welfare programs.

The Government will also partner with the Orygen National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health to promote student wellbeing within secondary schools.

This program builds on the Government’s $65.5 million investment in student health and wellbeing initiatives in all schools, including the Victorian Anti-Bullying and Mental Health Initiative, the School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support program, as well as increased investment in allied health and nursing services.

The Government established a Royal Commission into Mental Health and plans to implement every one of its recommendations – but in the meantime is moving ahead with critical, practical initiatives that support Victorians experiencing mental health problems.

Source: A state government media release