Disturbing figures reveal Northland schools have on average 10 students each with severe psychological problems

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1 NEWS

Disturbing figures released to 1 NEWS have revealed over 1000 Northland school students are considered to have severe psychological problems.

Northland principals say they're in dire straits as they struggle to cope.
Source: 1 NEWS

A survey of 110 Northland schools has found 1078 students need in-depth psychological help - a ratio of 10 students per school on average.

Te Tai Tokerau Principals Association Pat Newman, who carried out the survey, wasn't surprised by the results.

"We've got child mental health services in Northland that are so run down that it takes a year to get a fetal alcohol assessment done and there's not enough people up working to get anything done," Newman said.

Northland schools too are reporting that mental health services for these students are severely under-resourced.

Kaikohe East Principal Chicky Rudkin says they only get enough funding to help 10 per cent of those with behavioural problems.

"I'm always crying for help I'm pretty sure that every service that I ring roll their eyes when they hear that it's me because I'm often on the phone, saying come on we need your help we made this referral in November it's now June where's the service?" Rudkin said.

The Miriam Trust has counsellors working in 45 Northland schools.

"We are normally stretched, we get sometimes six to seven referrals a day and these are kids and their families are coming at the very sharp point end of the life," student counsellor Patsy Henderson said

The Ministry of Education says funding for teacher aides dealing with behavioural issues in Northland has been increased by 20 per cent.

But Northland Principals like Chicky Rudin say they still "need more help resourcing more expert help".

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