The Wellbeing and Health In-reach Nurse Coordinator program is a partnership between NSW Health and the NSW Department of Education. The program establishes a Wellbeing Nurse position in selected metropolitan, regional and rural communities in NSW to work with identified secondary and primary schools.
Wellbeing Nurses are employed by NSW Health and co-located in schools. The Wellbeing Nurse works closely with the school’s wellbeing and learning and support teams. They also work closely with local health and social services to support students and their families on a wide range of health and wellbeing issues. Issues may include mental health, social and behavioural support, physical health, and peer or family relationships.
The role of the Wellbeing Nurse is to:
- identify and address health and social needs of students and families
- coordinate appropriate early intervention, assessments and referral of students and families to services and programs
- contribute to care coordination and case management of students and families
- build trusting relationships with students and families to identify and assess their health and social needs and address barriers to accessing services
- support access to health promotion to improve health literacy and engagement of students and families
- develop networks with health providers to build strong relationships and effective referral pathways.
The NSW Government committed $46.8 million over four years to create 100 new WHIN Coordinator program positions in the 2020-21 state budget. The expansion of the program will see more skilled Wellbeing Nurses in many more secondary and primary schools in regional and metropolitan NSW who can help students to access the health and social support they need, when they need it.
The program commenced in 2018 at the pilot sites in Young, Tumut and Cooma and was expanded in 2020 to Deniliquin, Murwillumbah and Lithgow. We're now rolling out the Wellbeing Nurses across the state.