Mental health workers begin in Canterbury schools

  • Hon Dr David Clark

Children in 15 Canterbury and Kaikoura schools living with the legacy of earthquakes will have access to additional people to support their wellbeing from today, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.

Seven mental health professionals, counsellors and community workers have begun working in schools in East and West Christchurch under the first stage of the Government’s initiative, Mana Ake – Stronger for Tomorrow.

“Mana Ake will allow us to focus on supporting the wellbeing and positive mental health of children who, along with their families, have been impacted by earthquakes,” David Clark said.

“This first stage is the beginning of a three year $28 million programme to have a mental health support worker available to all primary and intermediate age school children in Canterbury and Kaikoura.

“These seven include health professionals, community workers and counsellors.”

“It is important to identify and support people and their family/whanau when problems arise. Mana Ake follows the principles of prevention and early intervention,” David Clark said.

NB: These seven workers will be deployed in 15 schools. By June 2019 programme support will be available to all primary and intermediate school aged children across Greater Christchurch, the Hurunui and Kaikoura.