(New Zealand) Plan to screen students for mental health problems

Aug 16, 2017, Radio New Zealand: Mental health screening in schools 'won't work without extra staff' A multi-million-dollar screening scheme to identify students with mental health problems is well-meaning but futile without increased specialist support, school counsellors say The government has said it will put $23 million into pilot schemes to universally screen and identify troubled students, and provide them with fast, easy access to help so it does not get in the way of their learning. ... A 2012 survey found students' mental wellbeing had deteriorated since 2007, with more depressed, deliberately self-harming, or thinking about suicide. Mangere College school counsellor Katherine Barclay said the situation had worsened since then and a better screening system would not resolve the problem of a shortage of specialist help, however. "We often find that there's a huge delay in getting our young people seen by the specialist professionals that can do more than what we can in the schools," she said…. "If you're told that they've got a two-month waiting list, well, how helpful is that." Association of Counsellors president Bev Weber was cautiously upbeat about the trials, but said more guidance counsellors - including ones at primary schools - would be needed to make it work.