The mental health of students on the Central Coast will benefit from a commitment in the State Budget, handed down on November 14, of $46.8M over the next four years to recruit 100 wellbeing health and in-reach nurses into schools across NSW.
The expansion of the successful Wellbeing and Health In-Reach Nurse (WHIN) program will see the highly skilled nurses embedded in more schools to ensure students can easily access health and social support when they need it.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the new funding would mean thousands more students across the state would have access to a nurse at school.
“NSW Health will fund these positions, however the practitioners will work with the Department of Education, with data and evidence to be used to place the nurses in areas of most need,” Perrottet said.
Beyond Blue CEO, Georgie Harman, said because of the stress of the year, children and young people and the adults in their lives need support now more than ever.
“From the summer bushfires to COVID-19 and the ongoing drought, this has been a challenging year for the people of NSW, and we know children and young people and the adults in their lives need support now more than ever,” Harman said.
“This is an important investment and Beyond Blue looks forward to contributing to the thinking about how best to deploy the wellbeing nurses to locations where they’re needed most and to ensure a joined-up approach.”
According to research from the Black Dog Institute and the University of NSW, up to 75 per cent of young people aged between 12 and 18 say their mental health has worsened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative forms part of a $2.4B mental health package that includes additional peer workers and mental health clinicians, the expansion of the Police, Ambulance and Clinical Early Response model, virtual mental health services and 12 Mental Health and Wellbeing Community Collaboratives across the state.
Media releases, Nov 17
Beyond Blue and NSW Government