Additional counselling support will be provided to students in regional areas of New South Wales as they recover from a difficult year of bushfires, drought and COVID-19.
Minister for Education Dan Tehan today launched the Association of Independent Schools of NSW (AISNSW) Counsellors initiative, funded with $4 million from the Morrison Government’s Choice and Affordability Fund and $2 million from AISNSW.
"This year has taken a toll on the wellbeing and mental health of every Australian and we must continue to support each other and the most vulnerable members of our communities, especially our children," Mr Tehan said.
"I’m very pleased our Government’s Choice and Affordability Fund is being used to provide extra care to students impacted by this year’s natural disasters and COVID-19 in regional NSW, as they continue to receive an all-important education.
"Additional pressure has been placed on counselling resources across our schools this year, especially in regional areas, and the flexibility of the Government’s $1.2 billion Choice and Affordability Fund means the non-government schools’ sector can address unforeseen challenges in priority areas such as student mental health.
"Our Government is focused on encouraging and supporting education authorities to provide safe and supportive school environments which promote wellbeing, resilience and good mental health.
"This initiative builds on the $8 million already provided by the Government for 25 Beyond Blue contact liaison officers to coordinate additional mental health support for local schools and early childhood services in bushfire-affected communities."
Eligible Independent schools will be able to apply for two rounds of funding under the AISNSW’s Counsellors initiative to cover the 2021 and 2022 school years.