Thursday, 20 March 2014
That the Senate—
(a) notes the 2014 Resilient Youth Australia survey's findings, that 34 per cent of girls and 28 per cent of boys in years 7 to 12 feel constantly under strain and unable to overcome difficulties;
(b) affirms that every school student in Australia should be able to access the tools to develop emotional resilience; and
(c) calls on the Commonwealth Government to:
(i) facilitate nationwide monitoring of adolescents' emotional resilience and wellbeing, and
(ii) ensure every school provides an environment conducive to students' wellbeing, including access to qualified mental health support personnel, to support school students during adolescence.
The government opposes the motion on the basis that the states are responsible for education service delivery. The Commonwealth does, however, provide considerable resources and support in this regard—in particular, the Commonwealth funds the Safe Schools Hub website, which provides age-appropriate information for schools, parents and students on a range of issues related to student wellbeing.
This motion is based on a survey undertaken this year by Resilient Youth Australia. The survey found that 34 per cent of girls and 28 per cent of boys in years 7 to 12 feel constantly under strain and unable to overcome difficulties. The motion calls on the Senate to affirm that every school student in Australia should be able to access the tools to develop emotional resilience and wellbeing. This is about the wellbeing, resilience and mental health of our young people. It is not just about education, but it is obvious that the place to address these issues is in schools. This motion supports the idea of proper assessment of the emotional wellbeing of our young people and ensuring that schools provide qualified mental health counsellors to support the needs of adolescent Australians.
Question agreed to.