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Tony Ryall

24 January, 2013

Roll out of $10 million for school kids’ preventative health

Health Minister Tony Ryall says 22 decile 3 secondary schools will be providing new school based health services this term.

“As part of the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project, over 8,000 more secondary school students will be able to see a registered nurse or access other health services at school if they need it,” Mr Ryall says.

The National-led government already funds around $5.6 million per year for a school nursing service in 135 decile one and two secondary schools, alternative education facilities and teen parent units.

The expanded services will be offered to all 47 decile 3 secondary schools resulting in new or improved school based services at a cost of $10 million over the four years. This will bring the total of young people eligible to around 56,000.

Mr Ryall says school based health services include promotional health campaigns – and a Wellness Check in year nine for every student.

“That’s a physical check-up but there’s also an assessment of each young person’s mental well-being. This covers areas such as home-life, eating, activities, drugs, sexuality, suicide and depression.

The Prime Minister’s $62 million Youth Mental Health Project is also investing $23 million over four years into expanding mental health funding to provide more services for young people aged 12 to 19 years in the community.

This includes:

  • Expanding primary mental health services provided through District Health Boards and Primary Health Organisations.
  • Ensuring Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and Alcohol and Other Drug Services reduce their wait times and improve post-discharge follow-ups, to ensure young people get better care.
  • Reviewing how the referral system is working across the youth mental health system.
  • Establishing online E-therapy

“Together this group of changes will expand access to mental health treatment for young people, while ensuring services work much better,” says Mr Ryall.

Decile 3 secondary schools offering permanent school based health services under the PM’s Youth Mental Health Project include:

Auckland: Marcellin College, One Tree Hill College, St Paul's College (Ponsonby)

Bay of Plenty: Edgecumbe College, TKKM o Te Kura Kokiri,

Canterbury: Hornby High School, Catholic Cathedral College, TKKM o Te Whanau Tahi

Hawkes Bay: Tamatea High School

Hutt Valley: Taita College

Levin: Horowhenua College

Gisborne: Gisborne Boys' High School, Gisborne Girls' High School

Waikato: Nga Taiatea Wharekura, Forest Hill High School, Tai Wanaga, Te Pa Harakeke Teen Parent Unit

Whanganui: Turakina Maori Girls' College, Rangitikei College, Ruapehu College

West Coast: Reefton Area School, Buller High School

(Some schools may not initially offer the full range of services)