Wellbeing nurses

to support more school children

More children on the Central Coast will have access to important wellbeing support at school as a result of the NSW Government committing $60 million over 4 years to continue the successful Wellbeing and Health In-reach Nurse (WHIN) Coordinator program.

6 March 2024

 

SINCE the Wellbeing Nurses program started in 2018, more than 10,000 students, across NSW, have been supported by wellbeing nurses.

 

NSW Premier Chris Minns said “I am very pleased to announce the continuation of this program, as we know students receiving support from wellbeing nurses experience improved health outcomes and better education engagement.”

 

“Wellbeing nurses work closely with school wellbeing and learning support teams to connect students and their families to health and community services.”

 

Students across more than a dozen Central Coast schools will benefit from access to wellbeing nurses under the expanded program. Nurses will be located at base schools, but will also service other schools in an outreach arrangement.

 

Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car said “I am delighted to see this successful program will continue, providing students in around 400 public schools with ongoing access to support through a wellbeing nurse.

 

“This program facilitates connections for our students and families to access high quality wellbeing support with local health care services.”

 

Central Coast schools include:

 

Base School -

 

  • Narara Valley High School

 

  • Gosford High School

 

  • Blue Haven Public School

 

  • Lake Munmorah Public School

 

  • Brisbane Waters Secondary College Woy Woy Campus

 

Outreach schools -

 

  • Wyoming Public School

 

  • Valley View High School

 

  • Kariong Mountains High School

 

  • Point Clare Public School

 

  • Brook Avenue Public School

 

  • The Entrance Public School

 

  • Mannering Park Public School

 

  • Gwandalan Public School

 

  • Ettalong Public School

 

  • Woy Woy South Public School

 

Around 100 wellbeing nurses are spread across metro, rural and regional areas of NSW working in about 400 public schools, potentially giving 150,000 students access to their important service.

 

Minister for Health Ryan Park said  “These wellbeing nurses play a vital role in our schools, helping students and their families to access mental health support and high quality, compassionate healthcare.

 

“We know wellbeing nurses are effective in assisting students and their families to access care for health and wellbeing needs they otherwise would not receive, so I’m proud thousands of children and young people across NSW will continue to benefit from this important service.”

 

David Harris, Minister for the Central Coast and Member for Wyong said that as a former Principal, support for schools in addressing complex student needs particularly in regard to mental health is welcome.

 

"Placing skilled practitioners directly into schools will result better health outcomes to student and families,” he said.

 

Member for Swansea, Yasmin Catley said "We know that wellbeing is part of being ready to learn and these wellbeing nurses will provide crucial support for kids and their families.

 

"Health and education are cornerstones of our kids' lives and I'm delighted to see the NSW Government bring them together through this program."

 

The WHIN Coordinator program is a joint initiative of NSW Health and the NSW Department of Education, and establishes wellbeing nurses in public primary and secondary schools to coordinate appropriate early intervention, assessments and referral to health and social services.

 

This is just part of the NSW Labor Government’s commitment to improving student and teacher wellbeing in schools, which includes a commitment to increase the number of counsellors in schools, ensuring an additional 250 counsellors are recruited.

 

Member for the Entrance, David Mehan commended the continuation of this program.

 

“It’s a great move to help kids do well both mentally and physically in schools," he said.

 

Liesl Tesch, Member for Gosford, said that the wellbeing nurses perform a vitally important role in our schools. "They provide a critical link for students and families to services such as early intervention, assessments, and health and social services referrals, providing a multi-faceted approach to young people’s wellbeing," she said.

 

“The NSW Government is committed to improving outcomes for the next generation and this program is a fantastic example of utilising innovative and collaborative programs to benefit young people across the Coast and NSW.”

 

For more information go to Whin-Coordinator.

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