KidsMatter Mental Health Project Receives Extra Funding
The KidsMatter Primary initiative, which aims to promote mental health, prevent mental illness and initiate early intervention where necessary among primary school students, is to have its initial pilot roll-out at 101 schools extended.
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5 October 2009
An innovative primary school mental health promotion project is to receive additional funding.
The KidsMatter Primary initiative, which aims to promote mental health, prevent mental illness and initiate early intervention where necessary among primary school students, is being funded with $12.2 million so that its initial pilot roll-out at 101 schools can be extended.
In addition, the Rudd Government is committing $6.5 million over three years to develop and pilot a KidsMatter project for the early childhood sector.
I am pleased to be able to make this announcement at the beginning of Mental Health Week for 2009.
KidsMatter Primary and KidsMatter Early Childhood are being conducted in collaboration between beyondblue: the national depression initiative, which is contributing funding of $3.5 million, the Australian Psychological Society, Principals Australia and Early Childhood Australia.
KidsMatter is a key initiative of the Rudd Government’s approach to the promotion of good mental health, the prevention of mental illness and early intervention where problems arise.
It requires a whole-of-school approach and has four key components – a positive school community; social and emotional learning for students; parenting support and education and early intervention for students with mental health difficulties.
Based on approaches already tested by the World Health Organization and the American Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, it has been adapted to suit Australian conditions.
The initial trial began in 2007 with 50 schools across Australia. A further 50 were added last year. An evaluation of this pilot program, funded by beyondblue and carried out independently by researchers at Flinders University, has found very positive results in terms of educational and mental health outcomes.
During the 2009 and 2010 school years, the Department of Health and Ageing and the KidsMatter Primary partners will progress the implementation of KidsMatter Primary in up to 400 schools nationwide.
For all media inquiries, please contact the Minister's Office on 02 6277 7220.
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