GISBORNE Secondary College is one of several state schools with access to a mental health practitioner and other mental health initiatives that started in July last year.
The statewide program, enabled by State Government funding of $51.2 million, aims to provide access to a mental health practitioner for all schools across Victoria.
Schools in the Loddon Mallee region received funding for mental health support, but an increased need for support was noted due to the impacts of COVID-19.
As a result the program will be rolled out before the end of 2021 – sooner than planned.
Gisborne Secondary College’s mental health practitioner, student health and wellbeing leaders, and student leaders met with Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas to discuss the importance of mental health week and the government’s support initiative.
“This year has been challenging for our young people, and we know that many of them are experiencing mental health challenges,” Ms Thomas said.
“The mental health practitioners in schools program makes it easier for them to access the support they need, when they need it.
“Mental health is one of the biggest issues raised with me when I talk to young people, parents and carers across Macedon, which is why this initiative is so important.”
Mental health practitioners will offer counselling and early intervention services, and coordinate support for students with complex needs, linking them with broader allied and community health services.
“It’s really important that we can help young people to move through this challenging time, and to help them build resilience – which is going to help them as they get older where we do come across unexpected situations,” Gisborne Secondary College mental health practitioner Allison Hicks said.