Students To Get Mental Health Support After Bushfires

01 March 2020

The Andrews Labor Government is making sure students in areas worst hit by the summer’s bushfire have the mental health support they need.

Minister for Education James Merlino announced the Mental Health Practitioners in Schools initiative will be rolled out to ten schools across East Gippsland – to ensure students impacted by this summer’s bushfires have the wellbeing support they need.

The $51.2 million initiative is providing every Victorian government secondary school campus with funding for a mental health practitioner by 2022, so students can get the support when they need it most.

This initiative is being rolled out to more than 150 schools this year, with schools in East Gippsland to benefit by the start of Term 2.

By 2022, the initiative will employ registered mental health professionals in more than 300 schools across the state, including psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists and mental health nurses.

They 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 and requirements.

Fast-tracking the rollout of the initiative to East Gippsland is part of the financial, wellbeing and health support the Labor Government is providing families, students and staff impacted by the summer’s bushfires.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“These bushfires have devastated many communities in East Gippsland and we’re doing everything we can to support students at school.”

“We know that when our kids are happy and healthy, they can focus on learning and have the best opportunity to succeed in education and in life.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley

“We’re making sure that if students are experiencing mental health challenges, they have access to additional professional support.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett

“These bushfires have had a great impact on students in East Gippsland so we are giving students the support they need when they need it most.”

Reviewed 28 June 2020

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