Wellbeing - Counselling (Place2Be Programme)

Whilst visiting Hanover Primary School I was informed of a school programme that is currently in operation called 'Place2Be'.

Place2Be is a children's mental health charity providing in-school support and expert training to improve the emotional wellbeing of pupils, families, teachers and staff. The aim is to make everyone feel comfortable about discussing their mental health.

The programme is very much in need. Statistics released by the National Health Service in the United Kingdom show...

  • 1 in 8 children and young people have a mental health disorder

  • 50% of people with lifetime mental health problems first experience them by the age of 14

  • 93% of school leaders express their concern about the increased worries that children are bringing to school and that staff are managing issues that go beyond their professional role

Place2Be focuses on supporting students to learn coping strategies that will help them overcome their mental health difficulties. The right expert support can set students up to be successful in the future.


  • Takes a whole-school approach to mental health (focusing on resilience)

  • Intervenes early to avoid escalation to more serious and complex issues

  • Develop the wider mental health workforce

The approach...

  • Supports school staff (training, advice and workshops)

  • Supports children and young people (counselling and other groups)

  • Regularly assesses the impact

  • Supports parents and carers

  • Offers additional expertise

The programme shows a high degree of success with...

  • 81% experiencing an improvement in wellbeing

  • 77% improvement in friendships

  • 76% improvement in home life

  • 69% fewer issues with their classroom teacher

This programme shows great success. Success that works towards addressing the issues we are faced with around mental health and our young people. Place2Be demonstrates that a whole school, strategic approach, can benefit all members of the school community.

The question is, what New Zealand agency provides this service and how accessible is it in mainstream education?

Ben Ward-Smith


Lytton Street School, Feilding

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