What the Royal Commission said 

The Royal Commission recognised that education settings are a key place where mental health and wellbeing can be supported and promoted. It found that the highest unmet need in education is in primary and secondary schools.  

The Royal Commission called for a Schools Mental Health Fund to be developed. The Fund will allow Victorian Government schools to purchase items from an evidence-based Menu. All initiatives in the Menu aim to support students’ mental health and wellbeing.

What are the opportunities? 

Children and young people experiencing poor mental health are more likely to experience lower academic achievement. They may miss more days of schools and leave school early. This may impact future job opportunities.  

Schools have a critical role to play in supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. 

What are we doing? 

We are creating a new Schools Mental Health Fund. The Fund will support Victorian government schools to purchase programs and interventions, that will improve the mental health and wellbeing of their students. 

We are also developing an evidence-based Menu of support. This will help schools make informed choices on how to spend their funding. 

The Menu has three ‘tiers’ of intervention. It includes programs and interventions that provide: 

  • Positive mental health promotion. This includes positive education programs, animal wellbeing programs and mental health literacy training  
  • Early intervention and cohort specific support. This includes arts therapy, teacher training in trauma-informed practice and cross-cultural responsiveness training 
  • Targeted support. This will be provided by place-based clinicians and trained professionals. 

The Menu is a publicly available resource. It has been developed in close collaboration with the Schools Mental Health Reform Reference Group. The Reference Group comprises students, teachers and mental health experts.  

We are also continuing and expanding the Mental Health in Primary Schools Pilot to reach 100 schools in 2022. 

We are also continuing the Maroondah Positive Education Model. This will provide further evidence to support the development of whole-school approaches to positive education, mental health and wellbeing.