News, media releases

Mental health support needed in schools

  • Tasmanian schools struggling to support student mental health
  • Consistent services across Tasmania needed
  • Labor policy would employ mental health workers to support students

System level issues in the Department of Education are leaving some Tasmanian schools struggling to support student mental health despite a rising level of need as the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect student learning outcomes.

Shadow Education Minister, Josh Willie, said Labor is urging the government to adopt its policy of employing mental health workers in every Tasmanian school.

“The Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff must act to ensure there is consistent and timely access to mental health support services across all Tasmanian schools,” Mr Willie said. 

“Concerns about gaps in mental health support services for young people in Tasmanian schools predate COVID-19.

“These are system level issues within the Department of Education that Jeremy Rockliff must act urgently to address.

Mr Willie said that this Mental Health Week highlighted the need to address mental health issues as the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect student learning outcomes.

“It has never been more critical that our young people have the tools to deal with the challenges they are facing.

“Prevention and early intervention is vital in protecting a young person’s mental health and we know from talking with teachers and parents that we can do more to help our children and young people through our school system.

“The growing need for Labor’s Mental Health Workers in Schools policy cannot continue to be ignored by the Liberals.

“Labor’s $40 million Mental Health Workers in Schools program would employ a range of mental health professionals including social workers, youth workers and psychologists.

“An investment in student mental health at an early age will help to prevent the development of more acute mental health issues and ease pressure on our health system.”

Josh Willie MP
Shadow Education Minister