Chief Commissioner applauds package to address the wellbeing of young New Zealanders

The Human Rights Commission welcomes a new mental health package directed at young people in school announced by the Government today.  It also welcomes the commitment of the Prime Minister and Ministers to on-going vigilance on safety in schools.

Chief Commissioner David Rutherford said, “The Commission has long been concerned at the wellbeing of young people in schools. It’s a sad reality that violence, abuse, harassment and bullying are pervasive issues in our schools. The Commission appreciates the Prime Minister’s leadership and welcomes the initiative and will also continue to be vigilant on this issue. We will particularly focus on ensuring affected students and their parents are aware of their options and we will want to see well-grounded measurement of safety in our schools.”

The $62 million dollar Youth Mental Health package includes funding for nurses and youth workers in lower-decile schools, the roll out the Positive Behaviour School Wide programme in all secondary schools and will require the Education Review Office incorporate student wellbeing in their reporting on schools.

Mr Rutherford said:  “The Commission considers that measures like these will lead to Braver Kinder Students who will as a result be Stronger and Smarter Students. The link between the measures the Government has taken and higher achievement by students is well proven.”

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