Constituency Question: Mental Health Workers
Ms SPENCE (Yuroke) (12:41:19): (620) My constituency question is to the Minister for Education. What information can the minister provide on when students in the Yuroke electorate will benefit from the Andrews Labor government’s plans to put mental health workers in every Victorian government secondary school? This initiative will build on the government’s doctors in schools program, which has provided students at Craigieburn Secondary College and Mount Ridley College with access to in-school GP services. I am thrilled that the government is investing in the health and wellbeing of young people in the Yuroke electorate by ensuring that they have the support they need, and I look forward to sharing the minister’s response with the community.
The Andrews Labor Government has committed $51.2 million over four years, and $31 million ongoing, to enable every secondary school campus across the state to employ a mental health practitioner such as a psychologist, social worker or mental health nurse.
The initiative is being implemented incrementally according to an Area-based model, commencing with Bayside Peninsula in Term 3, and Barwon in Term 4 2019. By 2022 every government secondary school campus will receive between one and five days a week of support from a mental health professional.
The phased roll-out will help ensure there is adequate workforce supply across the state and the provision of support to schools to effectively implement the initiative.
The two secondary schools within the Yuroke electorate, Craigieburn Secondary College and Mount Ridley P-12 College, will benefit from the initiative when it comes time for the initiative to be rolled out in the Hume Moreland Area. The Department of Education and Training is currently engaging with schools via a needs analysis questionnaire to determine their level of need and readiness to implement the initiative. This will help to inform the future roll-out plan.
The Hon James Merlino MP
Minister for Education