Sunday, June 23, 2024

Tertiary mental health at front of mind

The Government has made more mental health and addiction supports immediately available to Auckland’s tertiary education institutions to coincide with the start of the study year.

“COVID-19 has put immense strain on the Auckland student population and this boost to services ensures additional support is there for students who need it,” Health Minister, Andrew Little said.

“The $3.8 million of funding increases well-being supports for about 80,000 students and includes mental health promotion activities, wider access to talking therapies, drug and alcohol help, student-led initiatives, as well as targeted supports for Māori, Pacific and Rainbow students. 

“Prioritising the expansion of services to the three Auckland Universities means a wider range of mental health services across campuses so students experiencing mental health concerns can better manage their mental wellbeing,” he said. 

Youth mental health is part of the Cooperation Agreement between Labour and The Green Party, building on the work of last term in the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

“Delivery on expansion of these services cannot have come soon enough. I want to acknowledge the student leaders who fought so long and hard for this, who we collaborated with in the last term of Parliament to scope this package,” Green Party mental health spokesperson, Chlöe Swarbrick (pictured) said.

“We will continue to monitor roll-out by working with students, staff and their institutions and the mahi for better frameworks of student support in general remains a Green priority.”

The funding comes from the $25 million Budget 2020 Tertiary Student Mental Wellbeing package and is in addition to funding made available to Te Pukenga, which provided more wellbeing supports at the two Auckland Polytechnics.

The $25 million Budget 2020 Tertiary Student Mental Wellbeing package is a joint initiative delivered by the Ministries of Education and Health. The next phase, which will roll out further services in Universities across the country is also under way.

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