Recruitment is underway to employ psychologists in North East schools, at a time when their help is needed more than ever.
The Victorian government is beginning the roll-out of mental health practitioners at 31 schools in the Ovens Murray.
Wodonga Senior Secondary College principal Vern Hilditch welcomed the program's start.
"That was flagged last year; we put in place some ways of recruiting into that and we know the funding will come through from the beginning of term two," he said.
"All schools are finding that student mental health is probably one of the greatest challenges that we're facing, and we have done for some time."
Mr Hilditch said this added to the doctors in schools program.
"The thought is students will be able to self-refer, and we have social workers and a whole team of people who then work on well-being issues," he said.
The Mental Health Practioners initiative is a $51.2 million program which began in July 2019 and provides funding to schools to recruit a mental health practitioner.
It will see qualified mental health professionals in every government secondary school campus across the state, including psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists and mental health nurses.
Mental health practitioners offer counselling and early intervention services, and coordinate support for students with complex needs, linking them with broader allied and community health services.
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All government secondary schools will receive between one and five days a week of support from a mental health practitioner depending on its size and requirements.
Secondary schools included in the initiative:
Beechworth Secondary College
Benalla P-12 College
Blackburn English Language School
Bright P-12 College
Mansfield Secondary College
Mount Beauty Secondary College
Myrtleford P-12 College
Rutherglen High School
Tallangatta Secondary College
Wangaratta High School
Wodonga Middle Years College (3 campuses)
Wodonga Senior Secondary College
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