More mental health support in Victorian schools


Tailored mental health support for students is set to arrive at state schools across Sunbury and the Macedon Ranges.

With the state government’s announcement of the $200 million Schools Mental Health Fund, schools will now be able to choose from three streams of mental health support based on the needs of their students.

The program has been created in response to the findings of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

According to data presented in the Royal Commission’s findings, nearly one in three respondents (32 per cent) aged 12-25 reported high or very high levels of psychological distress, more than three times the rate in 2007 (nine per cent).

“These important initiatives will help ensure our local kids in Macedon can get the mental health support they need, whenever they need it,” Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas said.

The first option available to schools will include positive wellbeing promotions such as mental health first aid training, anti-bullying programs and the provision of therapy dogs.

The second option will focus on early intervention and cross-cultural responsiveness training, with a focus on cohort-specific initiatives.

The third will focus on the provision of targeted support via additional mental health professionals on campus, Headspace counsellors and suicide related support.

The fund will be rolled out in every state school by 2024.

Oliver Lees