School Mental Health Fund | Constituency Question

Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (12:37): My constituency question is directed to the Acting Premier, Minister for Education and Minister for Mental Health, the Honourable James Merlino. The Victorian budget has allocated $277 million in new support for our schools to ensure mental health and wellbeing. This includes establishing a new $200 million School Mental Health Fund. The proposed funding will significantly expand the mental health in primary schools pilot, reaching 100 schools. A partnership with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the pilot enables schools to employ a mental health and wellbeing coordinator, while also supporting staff to better understand and respond to mental health and wellbeing issues affecting their students. My question to the minister is: can the minister update me on how the mental health support boost for schools will benefit the residents of the Western Metropolitan Region? The new fund will be rolled out to all regional and rural government schools as a priority from term 3 in 2022, with the metropolitan schools to follow from 2023.