Tier 1: Positive mental health promotion Tier 2: Early intervention and cohort specific Tier 3: Targeted support
The Mental Health Practitioners (MHP) initiative is a centrally department-managed program providing mental health and wellbeing support in Victorian government secondary and specialist schools.
Under the initiative, schools receive funding to recruit a school-based MHP (social worker, psychologist, occupational therapist, mental health nurse).
•provide direct counselling support to address mild to moderate student mental health concerns
•coordinate support for students with complex needs
•enhance promotion/prevention activities by contributing to whole school approaches to mental health and wellbeing, including capability building for staff.
All secondary school campuses receive ongoing SRP funding allocations between 0.2 and 1.0 FTE, based on student enrolments. All specialist schools with secondary-aged enrolments receive ongoing SRP funding allocations between 0.4 and 0.8 FTE, based on student enrolments.
Secondary schools and specialist schools with secondary-aged enrolments can use part or all of their School Mental Health Fund allocation to increase the time fraction of their MHP. Schools are encouraged to discuss this arrangement with their Regional Mental Health team.
Target population: Secondary school students, secondary-aged specialist school students and their teachers.
Staffing: MHPs must be fully qualified psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists or mental health nurses. MHPs must also be fully registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA); or for social work applicants, eligible for membership with the Australian Association of Social Workers.
Strength of Evidence
Improved capacity of schools to provide: •mental health prevention and promotion activities •short term support for students including direct counselling •coordination of supports with other services for students with complex needs.