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Mental health professional will help high schoolers
Murray Bridge High School will get one of 65 mental health practitioner positions being created in South Australia’s education system.
A specialist mental health practitioner will be placed at Murray Bridge High School this year to help students maintain their wellbeing.
The therapist will work with families and the school’s wellbeing team – including assistant principal Chris Braun, student wellbeing leaders Leah Waye and Louis DeMichele, and pastoral care worker Tegan Baldwin – to support young people with mild to moderate mental health concerns.
Those with more complex issues will be referred on to other health services.
Lisa Doyle, the head of the new Schools Mental Health Service, said the role would fill a gap in services.
“By being placed within a school community we can provide an accessible and responsive service to those students in need,” she said.
State Education, Training and Skills Minister Blair Boyer said a pilot program had shown practitioners quickly became valued members of their school communities.
“Research shows that mental health concerns are most likely to emerge in lower secondary years, so we want to support young people when they are most likely to need it,” he said.
“This investment in mental health and wellbeing will see a workforce including psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and other learning support specialists in place to help young people tackle issues early.
“The service will work collaboratively with students and families, education staff, other support service providers and external agencies to support young people to improve their psychological health and emotional wellbeing.”
The mental health service will also roll out at 64 other schools across South Australia.
Schools were chosen based on several criteria, including social disadvantage.
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