New Zealand Labour Party

Mana Ake: Counsellors in schools

Every child in Canterbury & Kaikōura’s primary and intermediate schools now has access to mental health and wellbeing support thanks to the Government’s Mana Ake programme. Here's what that means for the community...

  • Supporting our kids

We want to make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child. Part of that is making sure that our young people get the support they need, when they need it. 

Mana Ake was originally established to help children dealing with the legacy of earthquakes in Canterbury and Kaikōura, and has also proved to be helpful following the March 15 attacks. 

Mana Ake puts social and mental health workers into schools for one-on-one and group sessions with children to help them deal with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. 

As of 31 March Mana Ake has supported over 820 children individually and 475 in groups since the programme first commenced in schools. That’s a lot of young lives that have benefited from being listened to and supported.

  • Easing pressures on teachers

Mana Ake lifts the burdern placed on teachers by adding to their support network and providing them with clear, easy-to-follow steps for helping children in need. For many teachers, Mana Ake has provided a wider community of mental health professionals and other teachers with whom to share information and skills, as well as helping schools link up with outside agencies.

  • Providing further support for parents 

It is a real comfort for parents to know their children will have access to professional mental health and wellbeing support at school after major incidents.

Health Minister David Clark:  “Mana Ake is an important initiative which is helping children every day. The Government’s promise to improve youth mental health is being realised through initiatives like this.”