Support for students’ mental health

(Antonius Ferret via Pexels)

Elsie Lange

The Victorian government has announced it will invest $200 million to expand its Mental Health in Primary Schools program to every government and low-fee non-government primary school in the state.

By 2026, 1800 school campuses will employ a mental health and wellbeing leader to implement a whole-school approach to wellbeing.

Announcing the program’s expansion, Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas said every child in the region will have access to “safe, tailored care” through their school.

“This is a historic moment in building our new mental health system, and one that will make a profound change to the way we support Victorians for generations to come.”

The program builds on a pilot with 100 schools in partnership with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the University of Melbourne – more than 95 per cent of the mental health leaders said the model improved the schools capacity to help students’ needs.

According to a government statement, since the start of the trials students have improved their mental health and wellbeing, as well as social, academic and vocational outcomes.

“The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System highlighted that schools play an important role in identifying children with mental health and wellbeing challenges who can then be referred to treatment, care and support if needed,” the government said.