School health

Find out how to access information about school health programs in country Western Australia.

About school health services

Our school health services promote health, development and wellbeing, helping children and young people reach their full potential.  Students learn better when they are healthy, safe and happy.

Community health nurses provide the services in schools in partnership with school staff.

Working with parents, students, and school staff, community health nurses are able to provide:

  • Information and support to students (and their families) to help them make informed decisions about their health, wellbeing and development.
  • School immunisation programs.
  • Providing a first point of contact for health care for students.
  • Referral to other health professionals if required.
  • Working with teachers to support health education sessions.
  • Student health and wellbeing programs.
  • Health assessments for vision, hearing and development, if required.
  • Helping school staff and parents develop health care plans for students with special needs (such as chronic disease, physical disability or other complex health conditions).
  • Parenting advice.

In the primary school

Community health nurses visit primary schools on a regular basis.  When your child starts school you will be asked to complete and return a health assessment form.  With your consent, the community health nurse will check your child’s vision, hearing, growth and general development.

You will receive a summary of the health assessment. The community nurse will contact you if they need more information or to follow up on part of the assessment. They will also provide support by referring to other services if required, such as: speech therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dietetics or the enuresis (bedwetting) program. 

The community health nurse can conduct an assessment at any time throughout primary school if you or your child’s teachers have any concerns.

In the secondary school

Community health nurses are skilled in working with young people on health issues that matter to them.  Young people can visit the school health centre to discuss their health and wellbeing, or find out health information.

Services are free and confidential. In some circumstances, information may need to be shared to provide care and ensure the safety and wellbeing of a young person.

School health services are an easy way for secondary students to access health care and health information for issues such as:

  • Healthy eating and nutrition
  • Healthy weight and body image
  • Coping with illness
  • Feeling anxious, stressed or unhappy
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Loss and grief
  • Relationships
  • Sexual health
  • Smoking, alcohol and drug use, and
  • Other adolescent health concerns.

School health nurses can help young people to access medical and other health services if needed.

Young people are always encouraged and supported to talk to their parents or guardian about significant health issues.

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Where our services are located

Public and private primary schools, district high schools and secondary schools and colleges across all regions in WA.

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How to access our services

If you have a concern about your child’s health, you can make contact with the community health nurse through your child’s teacher or the school office.

In secondary schools a community health nurse is usually based at the school one or more days a week, depending on the size of the school.  High school students may make their own appointment or just drop in during advertised health centre opening times (for example, at lunch time, before or after school).

Parents are encouraged to contact the community health nurse to discuss any concerns about their child’s health, development or wellbeing. 

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What other support is available?

Helplines can provide you with immediate access to support for urgent problems.  You can refer to a list of helplines (external website)or browse the list of support contacts below, which are relevant for children, adolescents and their families.

When you feel in crisis, CALL

In an emergency call 000 or visit your local emergency department

Organisation

Contact details

How they can help

Alcohol and Drug Support Line

(24 hours)

1800 198 024

24/7 Confidential, non-judgemental telephone counselling, information and referral service for anyone seeking help for their own or another person’s alcohol or drug use.

Beyond Blue - Info Line

(24 hours)

1300 224 636

Options to call, email or chat online

Calls and chats are one-on-one with a trained mental health professional, and confidential.

Crisis Care

(24 hours)

1800 199 008

A 24/7 telephone information and counselling service for people in crisis needing urgent help, particularly to do with child wellbeing; domestic violence and homelessness.

Kids Helpline

(24 hours)

1800 551 800

Free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5-25.

Lifeline WA

(24 hours)

13 11 14

Access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

RuralLink (Rural Communities)

1800 552 002

1800 720 101 (TTY)

A specialist after hours mental health telephone service for people in rural Western Australia.

4.30pm-8.30am Monday to Friday

24 hours Saturday, Sunday and public holiday.

During business hours you will be connected to your local community mental health clinic.

Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC)

24 Hour Emergency Line

(08) 6458 1828

1800 199 888

Everyone who works at SARC has a special interest in supporting people affected by sexual violence, and have the skills and experience to help survivors of sexual violence recover from their traumatic experiences

Suicide Call Back Service

(24 hours)

1300 659 467

Free professional counselling 24/7 across Australia (phone, online, video chat)

 

When you want to CHAT about what is bothering you: online, on the phone or in person

Organisation

Contact details

How they can help

Freedom Centre

(08) 9228 0354

Freedom Centre supports young people, families and whole communities to be healthy, happy and informed about diverse sexuality, sex and gender. Our volunteers and staff are all people who are also young people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer, Questioning (and otherwise diverse in their sexuality and/or gender) and are trained to be able to give support and information to their peers.

We host drop in, safe spaces to hang out, have fun, meet others and get peer-support and any information you may need.

Headspace

1800 650 890

eheadspace provides free online and telephone support and counselling to young people 12 - 25 and their families and friends. If you’re based in Australia and going through a tough time, eheadspace can help.

Healthy Families Beyond Blue

 

Mental health checklists, online forums, health information for your family are available – as well as an online chat service from 3pm-12am AEST.

Kids Helpline

1800 650 890

Free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5-25.

Webchat counselling is available at Kids Helpline. Available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Lifeline

(24 hours)

13 11 14

Access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Crisis support chat is available 7.00pm – midnight (AEST) 7 days

QLIFE

1800 184 527

QLife provides Australia-wide anonymous, LGBTI peer support and referral for people wanting to talk about a range of issues including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.

QLife provides a free telephone and webchat support service which operates from 3pm – midnight every day.

Youth Beyond Blue

1300 224 636

There is a 24 hour phone helpline, and an online chat option is available from 3pm-12am AEST, as well as online forums.

Youth Focus

(08) 6266 4333

Youth Focus delivers innovative and accessible mental health services and programs across Western Australia to help at-risk young people aged 12 to 25 lead full and healthy lives.

YMCA Youth Services

including ycounselling

(08) 9328 3522

Ycounselling provides counselling for young people aged 12 to 25 and/or their families. We also provide group programs. We can help young people to resolve crisis, reduce stress and make goals to improve wellbeing.

A low cost service

 

When you want a happy app

Organisation

Details

Headspace

Learn how to meditate with a free 10 day beginners course

Free download from the App Store or Google Play

Reach Out Worry Time App

Everyone has worries pop into their head from time to time, but sometimes they won't go away and start to impact your everyday life.

ReachOut WorryTime interrupts this repetitive thinking by setting aside your worries until later, so you don't get caught up in them and can get on with your day. This means you can deal with worries once a day, rather than carrying them around with you 24/7.

Free download from the App Store or Google Play

Reachout Tools & Apps

Here you'll find professionally-reviewed mobile apps and tools to help you look after your health and wellbeing.

Take a quiz to work out which app suits your needs.

Includes app charges, ratings and app goals

Smiling Mind - Meditation and relaxation

A free mindfulness app

Practice your daily meditation and mindfulness exercises from any device. Smiling Mind is a unique tool developed by psychologists and educators to help bring balance to your life. 10 minutes a day is all you need to see real changes. What are you waiting for?

Download from the App Store or Google Play

The Check-in app

If you want to check in with a friend but are concerned about saying the wrong thing

These applications are not necessarily endorsed by WA Country Health Service and WACHS is not responsible for the content. These are just a suggestion of some of the applications available.

 

When you want INFORMATION and RESOURCES on health, wellbeing and relationships – for yourself, your family or a friend

Organisation

Details

Bite Back

Discover ways to amplify the good stuff in life, check and track your mood and share stories

Black Dog

Information on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder

Get the Facts

Information on sexual health and relationships, including information on finding free condoms in your area; asking a question and taking an online STI test.

Headspace

Information and fact sheets on how to help yourself and others through difficult times

Head to Health

Head to Health is an Australian Department of Health website that helps you find the right digital mental health resources for your needs. It provides links to trusted Australian online and phone supports, resources and treatment options.

Healthy WA

Department of Health website for West Australians providing information and services on a range of health topics

Kids Helpline

Information on friendships, body image, problem solving, feelings and stress

Reachout

Information on how to deal with problems and cope well

Relationships Australia WA

Relationships Australia WA provides relationship support services for individuals, couples, families and communities.

Talk soon, Talk often. A guide to parents talking to their kids about sex

In response to advice that parents needed support in their role as the primary sex educators of their children, WA Health has developed Talk Soon Talk Often. A guide for parents talking to their kids about sex.

The Australian Parenting Website

Parenting videos, articles and apps backed by Australian experts

Youth Friendly Doctors

Looking for a youth friendly doctor?

Youthbeyondblue

Information and fact sheets on how to help yourself and others through difficult times

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School health resources

A collage of community health nurse posters

A suite of resources has been developed and can be downloaded here.

Posters

Hip pocket help guide

For information on state-wide school health programs please visit the Department of Health website.

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WA School-aged Health Service Review

In 2018, WA Country Health Service, in collaboration with Child and Adolescent Health Service, reviewed ways we could improve our School Health Services. Read the Key Findings and Recommendations (external website, PDF).

We carried out the review by looking at the available research, best practice models, data about current school health services in WA, and how other states and countries deliver school health services.

The review had input from the Department of Education and feedback was provided by a range of stakeholders, including parents and carers of children and young people aged 3 to 18, community health staff, school principals and community agencies. The review findings are informing the development of the next school health service strategy.

See what parents and carers had to say about school-aged health services in WA:

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Tell us what you think about the service

We are committed to providing a quality service.  Listening to your ideas and feedback lets us know what is working well and what can be improved.  Please talk to our team about the many different ways you can tell us about our service, or find out more on our consumer compliments and feedback page.

One way is via Patient Opinion (external website), which allows you to provide your feedback about our service online.

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