I spoke in Parliament yesterday about the MindMatters program.

MindMatters Inaugural School Recognition Event
17 Nov 2010

Dr LEIGH (Fraser) (1:55 PM) —On 4 November I represented the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, at the MindMatters inaugural school recognition event at the Canberra Business Events Centre, Regatta Point. MindMatters is a national mental health initiative funded by the federal government and implemented by Principals Australia, which promotes a whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing in Australian secondary schools.

I proudly presented awards to an outstanding group of students, teachers and principals from all across Australia. The 16 schools and colleges included Mount Barker College in Western Australia, Adelaide Secondary School of English, Taminmin College in the Northern Territory and Canberra’s very own Marist College. I would also like to acknowledge Sheree Vertigan and Heather Parkes, from Principals Australia.

Research has shown that many mental health problems among adults had their origins in childhood. We know that 14 per cent of young Australians aged between four and 17 have mental health problems, while only one out of four of those will receive professional health care. These children may face increased difficulty forming and maintaining positive relationships and engaging in schooling. The mental health of Australian children directly impacts Australia’s social and economic wellbeing.

I thank MindMatters and all participants for an outstanding awards event that celebrated not only their hard work and commitment but also the wealth of vital knowledge that is gained from delivering mental health education in Australian schools.

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.