Installing mental health practitioners in schools

Wednesday, 06 July, 2022

Installing mental health practitioners in schools

The SA Government is rolling out mental health support in state schools, appointing 100 new professionals to provide a range of services.

These professionals — including those with backgrounds in psychology, social work or occupational therapy — will work in primary and secondary schools and provide timely support for students, as well as guidance for school staff on how to provide ongoing assistance for children.

The pilot program has begun, with advertisements for applicants for six school mental health practitioners for a pilot service to support the mental health and wellbeing of students. The successful candidates will join two principal mental health practitioners to pilot the service for students at select locations from Term 3.

They will be school-based, working in three areas in metropolitan Adelaide and three in regional centres. The staff will provide a range of mental health services, including assessing and supporting students with newly developing mental health concerns.

The pilot will inform the rollout more broadly, seeing 55 new staff working in schools across South Australia by the end of 2023. It will help collect key information about attracting the right people to these important roles and help match the scope of the service to the needs of student.

“Supporting every child to get the most out of their school experience is at the centre of our Labor education policy,” said Peter Malinauskas, SA Premier.

“More and more school students are experiencing mental health concerns that are having an impact on their learning.

“These vital practitioners will help triage students, potentially providing early intervention options and referring students to external services.”

Image credit: © Business

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