NSW Labor is calling on the Government to address the chronic shortage of counsellors in schools across the state.
Shadow Minister for Education Prue Car said students are in desperate need of increased mental health support after dealing with an array of disruptions throughout the year.
“The Government promised every public high school in NSW would have one full-time counsellor or psychologist and one student support officer as an election commitment but has failed to deliver,” Ms Car said.
“Gladys Berejiklian has heard the pleas of the community to provide more mental health support to our young people, but continues to ignore the issue. When will she act?”
Government data obtained by NSW Labor shows 84 per cent of schools do not have full-time counsellor despite the pledge being made more than a year ago.
Analysis also shows hundreds of schools are receiving little more than an hour of counselling each week:
- 341 schools have just a 0.05 of a full-time counsellor allocation
- A further 143 have just a 0.10 of a full-time counsellor allocation
Shadow Minister for Mental Health Tara Moriarty said young people need more support.
“The devastating effects of the bushfires followed by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to impact the mental health of our young people. We need the Government to fast-track this commitment,” Ms Moriarty said.
“Every school should have a school counsellor that supports students in need.”