3 Oct 2017

Counsellor backs coroner urging mental health help in schools

From Morning Report, 8:19 am on 3 October 2017

Coroner Peter Ryan is recommending mental health nurses and social workers be placed in all New Zealand schools. It comes as he releases his findings into the death of St Catherine's College student Alatauai Sasa. The 15-year-old took her own life in 2013.

He says her school guidance counsellor was seeing up to 25 students at any one time, and that having a trained mental health nurse and social worker to work alongside her would have helped.

Kathryn Barclay is with the School Guidance Counsellors' Advisory Group, and tells us it's common for school counsellors to have to help suicidal students, and often it's one counsellor for a school of thousands of students.

She says there's also inadequate funding into mental health for adolescents.