Mental health training for teachers welcomed

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Catholic Schools New South Wales has welcomed moves to strengthen mental health training for teachers

In response to the “youth suicide contagion” and rising levels of mental health issues in New South Wales schools, the NSW government has announced that all teachers will receive increased mandatory mental health training.

The Government has identified mental health as one of four priority areas for teacher accredited training and have determined that teachers will now have to complete 50 hours of training, to be phased in from 2021.

Catholic Schools NSW Chief Executive Officer Dallas McInerney has welcomed the new initiative.

Catholic Schools NSW (CSNSW) Chief Executive Officer Dallas McInerney

“Across Catholic Schools NSW, both systemic and congregational, there’s a network and variety of programs and responses to deal with this very important issue,” said Mr McInerney. “Including programs related to the school chaplaincy programs.”

“Pleasingly we’re able to involve another church agency, CatholicCare, to provide support in the provision of some of these services and we think that’s very important.”

Mr McInerney says that while the new measures are important the Catholic faith in our schools already provides pathways for dealing with mental health related issues.

“You can do wellbeing in one way,” said Mr. McInerney, referring to the new training requirements. “But I think we need to make sure we don’t walk past a solution that’s right in front of us in our own faith to deal with some of these issues.”

Mr McInerney said the new measures reflect long standing Government concern following 18 months of challenges for the country and Australian students.

“I think we need to make sure we don’t walk past a solution that’s right in front of us in our own faith”

“The Government has been concerned for some time coming out of 18 months of drought, bushfire and then going in to a global pandemic,” said Mr. McInerney.

“Teachers are a critical part of the school community and we need to make sure they have all the support and options around them to continue to do what they do best.”

“The Government has identified a potential extra pressure, both for the student body and the teachers, and giving them some support and direction on how to respond to that is welcomed.”

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