Labor will recruit mental health workers to all 195 Tasmanian state primary and high schools.
The statistics around mental health issues for Australian young people
- Half of all lifelong mental health problems begin before the age of 14.
- One in seven young people aged 4 to 17 years experience a mental health condition in any given year.
- One in ten young people aged 12-17 years old will self-harm, one in 13 will seriously consider a suicide attempt, and one in 40 will attempt suicide.
- Suicide continues to be the biggest killer of young Australians.
WE MUST DO BETTER.
Labor has consulted widely and the feedback is clear – prevention and early intervention is vital in protecting a young person’s mental health.
Labor’s $40 million Mental Health Workers in Schools program will ensure Tasmanian students have access to specialist mental health support.
It will employ a range of mental health professionals such as social workers, youth workers or psychologists.
Mental health workers in schools will
- help to destigmatise mental health
- foster more supportive peer support networks
- build skills among other school staff to manage student mental health.
They will provide direct counselling support and early intervention services, as well as coordinating appropriate support for students with more severe needs.
A key aim of the initiative will be to reduce Tasmania’s youth suicide rate, which is among the highest in the country.
By identifying and treating mental ill health in children we can reduce the number of acute mental health issues presenting at our hospitals.
Mental health and wellbeing is vital for learning and life. Children who are mentally healthy learn better, benefit from life experiences and have stronger relationships with family members, school staff
Good mental health in childhood also provides a solid foundation for managing the transition to adolescence and adulthood, engaging successfully in education and having a happier life.