Labour promises more nurses at schools

The Labour Party is promising to lower teen suicide rates by extending high school-based health services nationwide.

The new $40m policy, announced by the party's deputy leader Jacinda Ardern on Saturday, would put nurses on-site at every school.

This would mean any student could visit a professional and then be referred to youth health services, mental health services or their own doctor.

Ms Ardern says it's "time for fresh thinking" around mental health.

"Evidence around existing services shows where students had more time with on-site health professionals there was significantly less depression and suicide risk.

"Depression and suicide risk were up to two-thirds lower in schools with comprehensive health services. Early intervention works."

Currently, healthcare is only Government-funded for high schools decile 3 and lower, teen parent units and alternative education facilities.

The investment will be funded out of Labour's commitment to reverse what it calls the National Party's $1.7b of health cuts.

  • If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs immediate help, call Lifeline on 0800 543 354 or the Suicide Prevention Helpline on 0508 828 865.

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