Jeremy Rockliff,Minister for Education and Training
Under the Hodgman Liberal Government an unprecedented $81 million has been committed to support mental health and wellbeing in our schools, since we came to Government and including across the forward estimates.
There is no one single solution to dealing with mental health issues which is why we have taken a holistic, multi-faceted approach to supporting students who need help.
We have significantly increased professional support staff in schools since 2014 with an extra 65 FTEs, this includes psychologists, social workers and nurses.
Last year we also launched a Child and Student Wellbeing Strategy, and we have funded the establishment of a Child and Student Wellbeing Unit.
The 2019-20 Budget continues our strong focus on the wellbeing of students with an additional $7.25 million over four years to support students impacted by trauma and those with emotional and behavioural challenges.
We also are continuing to fund dedicated support teams that work with schools and other agencies to support students impacted by family violence, abuse and neglect.
The 2019-20 Budget will see another eight school nurses funded – one in each of our eight Colleges. This is the final phase of our school nurses program to provide school nurses across all Government schools. These positions have been a huge success in schools with nurses assisting students who are suffering from eating disorders, stress and other mental health issues.
Meanwhile $4.9 million for our Principal Well-being Action Plan is ensuring principals have the support they need to flourish and lead learning and improvement in their schools.
The Hodgman Liberal Government has a very proud record of investing in the vital area of mental health and wellbeing in schools. I welcome the Opposition Leader’s new interest in mental health, however without a fully funded alternative budget, the commitments Ms White outlined today are unfunded which means Labor cannot deliver.