Mental Health and Wellbeing in New Zealand Education
This literature review examines the current findings of mental health and wellbeing research in New Zealand education systems. M?ori adolescents, and those from lower socioeconomic groups, are disproportionately affected by mental health and substance abuse disorders. Current mental health and wellbeing support systems in New Zealand are grouped according to the three-tier approach, focusing on the severity of need of the adolescents, with school supports including a combination of these systems. Secondary school counsellors are used for early intervention, with primary and intermediate schools lacking government funding to provide this support currently. The findings discussed support the relationship between academic achievement and mental health in adolescents. Current research has found that depressive symptoms for adolescents were 2-3 times higher in poverty groups compared to students not experiencing poverty. Adolescents (15-24 years) had the highest rate of suicide, accounting for one in three deaths in 2013, with rates of suicide in M?ori adolescents persistently higher than non-M?ori. Research has found that offering free counselling can be used as an effective method for reducing mental health symptoms and concerns for both M?ori and lower socioeconomic adolescents. Caring relationships between parents, schools, and community have been found to be important factors influencing happiness among adolescents. This review has identified not only a lack of New Zealand research focusing on mental health and wellbeing in adolescents, especially those from M?ori or lower socioeconomic groups, but also a clear need for funding to provide school-based counselling services for primary aged adolescents.
- Journal Articles