More secondary school teachers need to be trained in promoting wellbeing, the Mental Health Foundation says.
A new survey found only a third of all teachers have training to recognise mental health warning signs and there are fewer trained teachers in lower decile schools.
- Jacinda Ardern defends another Government delay on mental health response
- 'Incredible': US teacher's 'mental health whiteboard' gains worldwide attention
- Young people waiting months for mental health appointments
Foundation CEO, Shaun Robinson, told Newshub there needs to be a school wide approach, rather than a focus on specific students.
"So you're not then stigmatising people who are struggling, you're creating a sense, talking about our feelings, our mental health and wellbeing is a normal part of being in a school, being in a human being."
Just half of the schools surveyed are engaged in supporting the wellbeing of students. Robinson said having more nurses and counsellors is not enough.
"It's a combination of changing that overall culture within schools and actively working on wellbeing and having supports there for people when they are going through tough times."
Having change across the entire school would prevent the stigmatising of teens who are struggling and make them feel validated, Robinson said.
"There's a lot that can be achieved where whole school approaches improve students sense of belonging, sense of connection with their schools, their culture, their identity being valued."