Mental Health Support for Local Secondary Schools

Mental Health Support for Local Secondary Schools Main Image

03 June 2022

The State Government’s Mental Health Practitioners (MHP) initiative provides funding to government school campuses with secondary enrolments to employ a mental health practitioner (mental health nurse, occupational therapist, psychologist or social worker) for between one and five days a week.

In October 2021, Minister for Education James Merlino announced the roll out of the $51.2 million Mental Health Practitioners initiative had been finalised by Term Four 2021 ─ a year earlier than originally committed to.

Supporting around 188,000 students, these wonderful mental health practitioners offer counselling and early intervention services, support students with complex needs, connect students to broader allied and community health services and deliver whole-school mental health promotion and prevention activities.

We are lucky to have this initiative at local schools in our community

The Mental Health Practitioners initiative is in addition to the Government’s $28.5 million package to ensure that all Victorian government school students have continued access to professional mental health and wellbeing support during the pandemic.

The Government has also invested $217.8 million in new support for schools, including $200 million for a new School Mental Health Fund ─ allowing schools to select and implement mental health and wellbeing programs that best meet the needs of their students, while also connecting with specialist services. 

At St Helena Secondary College in particular, the MHPs provide regular consultation with teachers, Principal Karen Terry and Assistant Principals and have been instrumental in building the capability and capacity of staff to identify and respond to mental health and wellbeing concerns at the school.

This investment is about ensuring that Victorian students have the mental health supports in place to achieve their very best at school and in life.


Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino


“Students, teachers, families and school communities have been incredibly resilient throughout this pandemic ─ but we know it’s been incredibly difficult for many of our kids, and we’re making sure they’re supported while studying.”


“We’ve delivered the Mental Health Practitioners initiative a year ahead of schedule ─ giving students in secondary and specialist schools the direct support they need during and well beyond this pandemic.”


“We’ve laid out our plan to get students back into the classroom this term, but we know some kids will need more support – and this program will make it easy for them to reach out and get the mental health care they deserve.”


Quotes attributable to Member for Eltham, Vicki Ward


“A terrific program for our students, teachers and community - thank you to our valued mental health practitioners who are doing such important work.”