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Health of young people a priority for Labour

Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern.

“Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary schools to ensure all students have access to a comprehensive youth health service.

“It’s time for fresh thinking so all young Kiwis get the help and support for all their health needs, particularly 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.

“School Based Health Services were introduced by Labour in 2008 but are currently only funded directly for nurses in decile 1-3 public secondary schools, teen parent units and alternative education facilities.

“With this policy the average secondary school will have a full time nurse and also the support of a GP.

“This investment will cost $40 million a year, funded out of Labour’s commitment to reverse National’s $1.7 billion of health cuts.

“Extending comprehensive School Based Health Services to all public secondary schools will benefit hundreds of thousands of young New Zealanders. This is a policy that has the potential to save lives,” says Jacinda Ardern.