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Far North schools miss out

Last updated 05:00 30/01/2013
Menta anguish
MENTAL ANGUISH: Far North schools will miss out on a slice of the government’s $10 million to boost health services at schools.

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The government roll-out of $10 million for school kids' preventative health over the next four years does not include increased funding for schools in the Far North.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says 22 decile three secondary schools will be providing new school-based health services this term.

And in total all 47 decile three schools in New Zealand will receive the services currently provided to decile 1 and 2 schools.

The government already funds $5.6m a year for a school nursing service in 135 decile 1 and 2 secondary schools, alternative education facilities and teen parent units across the country - this includes physical and mental assessments.

Northland College, decile 1, Bay of Islands College, decile 1, Kaitaia College, decile 2, Whangaroa College, decile 2, and Okaihau College, decile 2, will not see any new funding for health in this roll-out.

Nor will decile 7 Kerikeri High School.

However, the government's $62m Youth Mental Health Project is investing $23m over four years into expanding mental health funding to provide more services for young people aged 12 to 19 in the community.

School based services are already being provided in 14 decile 1 and 2 secondary schools, alternative education facilities and teen parent units in Northland.

As part of the Youth Mental Health project $57,000 was allocated to the Northland District Health Board in 2012/13 to expand the current mental health services to reach young people aged 12 to 19.

There will be increases in this funding over the following three years. Northland DHB Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and Youth Alcohol and Other Drug services will work to reduce their wait times and improve their followup care, the ministry of health says.

An initiative is being developed to make online e-therapy available.

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