Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis with South Grafton High School principal Kristine Pizarro, who welcomed the commitment for increased mental health support when it was announced last year.
Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis with South Grafton High School principal Kristine Pizarro, who welcomed the commitment for increased mental health support when it was announced last year.

Clarence and Richmond schools to receive mental health support

HIGH schools across the Clarence and Richmond Valleys will be among the first schools in NSW to have full-time counselling services and increased mental health support thanks to a new NSW Government initiative.

“Casino High School, Maclean High School, Grafton High School and South Grafton High School will be among the first schools in NSW to welcome a Student Support Officer,” Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said.

“It is part of an $88 million Nationals in NSW Government commitment to provide every public high school in NSW with a full-time counselling support service on site as well as a Student Support Officer.

“We don’t yet fully understand what impact the coronavirus is having on the mental health of young people, but we do know that students need to feel supported more than ever before.”

South Grafton High School principal Kristine Pizarro welcomed the commitment to the mental health of students.

“Having access to school support officers means they will be able to provide the mental health care kids really need,” she said.

“Every student should be known, valued and care for and we can do that by making sure we have the supports in place to provide the care they need.”

Student Support Officers implement the NSW Government’s whole-of-school approach to wellbeing, and will work alongside school counsellors and psychologists to ensure students are getting the support they need to deal with bullying, anxiety, stress and other difficult issues.

Student Support Officers also play a pivotal role in working with external child and family support agencies to support students.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing emotional distress and needs support, please call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 and Lifeline on 13 11 14.



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