Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced that the
$88 million investment
will ensure every public high school student in the State has access
to a highly-qualified mental health professional
they can confidentially speak to, as well as greater support for bullying, anxiety, stress, and
any other difficult issues they may face at school.
“This will make it easy for
young people to access help when they’re
going through a tough time and also give teachers the support to deal with challenges faced by students,”
Ms Berejiklian said.
“We know from teachers and principals – and the students
themselves – what an impact this has on reducing stress and improving academic
performance, as well as how much the students embrace the extra support.”
Up to 100 additional full-time
school counsellors or psychologists,
as well as 350 student support officers,
will be employed across NSW public high schools. Importantly, these experts will have the
ability to refer students who require greater assistance to mental
Education Minister Rob Stokes said the program will help normalise
speaking up and seeking help when it comes to mental health, as well as train
teachers to be able to have these conversations with students and their
“It is critical that parents, teachers and students know there is always
someone they can turn to for support,” Mr Stokes said.
“We’ll also partner with mental
to bring their expertise
and experience to school communities.”
Mental Health Minister Tanya Davies said about 14 per cent of children
between four and 17 years old experience a mental illness – and this figure is
expected to rise.
“If issues are not addressed quickly and at a young age
they can develop into lifelong problems,” Mrs Davies
“Getting help early can prevent
young people from falling into
crisis and also avoid longer term
interventions as an adult.
Schools play a critical role in getting this support
to young people
Deputy Premier and Minister
for Regional NSW John Barilaro visited Griffith High School today to talk with students and teachers about how
the boost will help in
“By offering mental health
support in schools, we can identify kids who need help early, and make
sure they’re looked after.
“With the ice epidemic and youth suicide major issues in regional NSW it
is important that our kids have access to life-saving support services no
matter where they live.”