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(New Zealand) Otumoetai: Schools partner with in-school mental health services

Feb 1, 2018, (New Zealand) Scoop: Otumoetai pilot frontline mental health in school http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE1802/S00001/otumoetai-pilot-frontline-mental-health-in-school.htm Otumoetai students have access to specialist mental health support at school as part of a health funded pilot focused on building children’s resilience and general wellbeing. Nine schools in Otumoetai have formed a Community of Learning/Kāhui Ako; an initiative established by the Ministry of Education to raise student achievement from early childhood through to tertiary education by encouraging a more joined-up approach to learning…. Otumoetai COL Lead Principal Henk Popping says, “Collectively our schools had noticed a trend with students coming through the schooling system lacking resilience. This initiative, focused on student wellbeing, is about building the resilience of children at an earlier age, in those early childhood years…. As part of the three year pilot, two staff from the BOPDHB’s Child & Adolescent Mental Health service will be based at one of the schools. Evidence shows that easy to access mental health services, available on-site, leads to students having improved mental wellbeing, increased engagement in learning and higher educational achievement…. She says the mental health practitioners will also be able to support and empower teachers and the wider school community to have the confidence to manage the mental health and wellbeing of students. “Although the pilot has only just begun, I would envisage group therapy sessions for students focused on teaching them coping skills would also be offered at school.”