THE Victorian Government is providing its schools with the tools and resources they need to tackle bullying, improve the mental health of students and help them achieve their best in the classroom.
Education Minister James Merlino has announced the Victorian Anti Bullying and Mental Health Initiative – a $7 million plan to address bullying in schools.
“This is a silent tragedy, and it’s hurting families across our state. Our kids simply can’t be their best if they don’t feel happy, supported and included at school,” Mr Merlino said.
A $4.8 million boost will go towards mental health services for government schools to respond to complex issues – including addressing depression, anxiety and trauma – equivalent to about 40,000 hours of mental health support services.
By improving access to mental health workers and assistance, students can get help as soon as they need it.
The extra funding comes on top of existing strategies and programs to help schools put a stop to all forms of bullying and unacceptable school behaviour.
Around one in five young people experience bullying, affecting their academic performance and self-esteem, leading to anxiety, depression and self-harm.
As it stands, suicide is the leading cause of death for Australian children aged 5-17 years.