Victoria Announces $200 Million Program Tackling Mental Health In Primary School Children

Trust and confidence


Article heading image for Victoria Announces $200 Million Program Tackling Mental Health In Primary School Children

The Andrews government has announced a $200 million pilot program for mental health in Victorian schools.

Expanding upon existing services, the program will roll-out Mental Health and Wellbeing Leaders across 1800 government and low-fee non-government primary schools across the state by 2026.

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Education Minister James Merlino made the announcement ahead of the state government introducing a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act to Parliament on Tuesday.

“It’s about the trust and confidence that children and young people at school have with the teachers and staff,” he said.

“Having the confidence to have the conversation, talk about mental health and then through that trusted adult in the school support the child, including referring [the child] to other services.”

With anxiety, emotional vulnerability and substance use disorders manifesting in people during their teenage years, Merlino said students struggling with mental health, often experience delayed learning compared to their peers.

“We know that more than half of all mental health illnesses manifest by the age of 14. Imagine if we can identify and intervene early in grade two, three, four, five and six,” Merlino said.

“I can tell you today that we have funded an additional 2500 mental health workers, we are making progress on 90 per cent of the Royal Commission’s recommendations, and ... we are delivering a brand-new mental health and wellbeing bill,” he said.

The first reading of the Mental Health and Wellbeing bill will take place on Tuesday, followed by a second reading on Thursday.

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Hit News Team

21 June 2022

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