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Liberal Nationals to move simple changes that could transform our kids’ mental health

The Andrews Labor Government is being urged to support simple reforms that will immediately deliver hundreds of extra workers for Victoria’s under-resourced mental health workforce.

As Labor’s six lockdowns continue to weigh on the youngest Victorians, now more than ever we need to look for ways to deliver an immediate boost to the mental health workforce in our schools.

An anomaly in the current legislation prevents people who are qualified as counsellors from offering guidance counselling services at Victorian schools.

The Liberal Nationals will introduce a Private Member’s Bill in State Parliament today to correct the definition of a ‘mental health practitioner’ under the Mental Health Act.

Registered psychologists, registered nurses, social workers and registered occupational therapists are already covered by the Act.

The Liberal Nationals propose to expand this definition to include counsellors.

Backed by the Australian Counselling Association, this is a small change that will make a world of difference to young Victorians by ensuring the right support is available, when they need it.

The proposal further builds on the Liberal Nationals’ plan to restore hope and to plan for better mental health for all Victorians, including by deploying dedicated mental health specialists to all Victorian schools.

Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for Mental Health Emma Kealy

Our kids can’t afford to wait any longer for more specialist support to help them get through the isolation of lockdown.

The mental health workforce is under intense pressure and in desperate need of more resources.

This common-sense reform will unlock more mental health workers to provide the surge demand we need to deal Victoria’s shadow pandemic, which make a world of difference to our youngest Victorians.

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