A new school-based mental health program that aims to give teachers the tools to help students manage their mental health will be launched today following a $98.6 million investment from the Morrison Government.
The program Be You will be delivered by beyondblue in partnership with headspace and Early Childhood Australia.
Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the program will provide Australian teachers with the skills and resources to be able to teach students how to manage their mental health and wellbeing, build resilience, and support the mental wellbeing of other students.
“It will ensure that students have all the support required for healthy social and emotional development,” Minister Hunt said.
“Be You will teach educators to identify any students who may be experiencing mental health difficulties, and to work with the families and local services to get the right help early on. It will also help educators look after their own mental health.”
Minister for Education Dan Tehan said Be You builds on the strengths of current school-based mental health programs, and complements our Government’s recently launched Australian Student Wellbeing Framework.
“I encourage all Australian schools and early learning providers to engage with beyondblue and Be You to support the mental health and wellbeing of our students,” Minister Tehan said.
“As half of all mental health disorders in Australia emerge before the age of 14, schools and early learning services in Australia represent one of the best opportunities for mental health issues to be detected early and managed.
“Schools also play a vital role in prevention by helping our children and young people learn the skills they need to look after their own mental health and wellbeing.
I want our children and young people to have access to the information and skills they need to face life’s challenges and to know they have our support.”
The program will be rolled-out by beyondblue in 6,000 schools and 2,000 early learning services in 2019.
Teachers and educators, including those still in training, will have access to free online courses and materials on mental health and suicide prevention.
The program will also be supported by over 70 frontline staff from Early Childhood Australia and headspace who will help schools and early learning services around the country implement the program, through online, telephone, and face to face consultations.
The Government is also providing $2.36 million over four years to the University of Queensland to evaluate the program. This will assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the program, and identify opportunities to strengthen or improve it.
The Liberal National Government is prioritising better mental health for all Australians with an additional $338.1 million allocated in the 2018–19 Budget and $4.7 billion expected to be spent on mental health this financial year.
Our Government’s strong economic management ensures we continue to invest record amounts of funding into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.