Schools play a significant role in supporting the wellbeing and mental health of their students. As our communities continue to experience the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting students' wellbeing and mental health is critical. To ensure schools are well-placed to support all students, the Queensland Government has made a $100 million investment over 3 years in a Student Wellbeing Package to:
- increase the wellbeing workforce to provide access to mental health and wellbeing support for every Queensland primary and secondary state school student; and
- pilot a program placing General Practitioners in 50 state schools with secondary students 1 day per week.
Department staff can access additional information on OnePortal.
Increasing the Wellbeing Workforce
The Student Wellbeing Package will ensure every Queensland primary and secondary state school student has access to a wellbeing professional at school. From 1 July 2021, schools and regions have been working closely to recruit additional wellbeing professionals, predominantly psychologists, to support students' wellbeing and mental health at school. Where required, to meet the specific needs of school communities, regions and schools may employ other wellbeing professionals (including guidance officers with a counselling focus and social workers).
Every Queensland state school will benefit from the Student Wellbeing Package and schools do not need to apply to access additional support from wellbeing professionals. Funding is being provided in three phases over the duration of the initiative.
Additional wellbeing professionals provided through the Student Wellbeing Package will complement and add to the support already provided to students in Queensland state schools by guidance officers, school-based youth health nurses, youth support coordinators and other wellbeing support staff. Additional wellbeing professionals will work as part of schools' established student support teams and contribute to schools' whole-school approach to supporting students' wellbeing and mental health.
GPs in Schools Pilot
The GPs in Schools Pilot will place General Practitioners (GPs) in 50 Queensland state schools with secondary students. The service will provide students with free access to a GP at school 1 day per week, removing barriers students may otherwise face to receiving timely and appropriate healthcare. The provision of this service will have positive impacts for students' health and wellbeing and their readiness and ability to engage positively at school.
All Queensland state schools with secondary students were invited to apply to participate in the pilot by responding to an expression of interest, outlining the level of need in their school and how providing access to a GP at school would benefit their students' health and wellbeing.
Following a great deal of interest from schools, a decision was made to expand the pilot from supporting 20 to 50 schools to provide a GP service to their secondary students.
Schools selected to participate in the pilot have now been announced.
Schools participating in GPs in Schools Pilot
Alexandra Hills State High School
Beaudesert State High School
Beenleigh State High School
Benowa State High School
Currumbin Community Special School
Helensvale State High School
Loganlea State High School
Mabel Park State High School
Marsden State High School
Merrimac State High School
Park Ridge State High School
Shailer Park State High School
Wellington Point State High School
Woodridge State High School