Mental health support officers recruited to Moree Secondary College

SIX new Student Support Officers have started work in schools across the Northern Tablelands, including Moree, as part of a State Government program increasing the level of wellbeing and mental health support to students struggling with the strain of drought, bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall last week met with Kym Smallmon and Steele Sutton, new Student Support Officers at Moree Secondary College, to hear about the support programs they were implementing for students.

“It is incomprehensible the pressure our high school students have been under this past 12 months, sadly due to events beyond their control,” Mr Marshall said. 

“Alongside Moree Secondary College, Armidale Secondary College, Macintyre High, Inverell High and Warialda High Schools are also among the first in NSW to receive their Student Support Officers.

Providing support for students during difficult times Moree Secondary College, Student Support Officer Steele Sutton, left, Executive Principal Jennifer Bird, Wellbeing and Welfare Teacher Jason Auld, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Student Support Officer Kym Smallmon.

“These staff work alongside school counsellors and psychologists to ensure students are getting the support they need to deal with bullying, anxiety, stress and other difficult issues.

“Student Support Officers also play a pivotal role in working collaboratively with external child and family support agencies to support students, which is critical in areas like Moree.”

The first phase of 183 schools received their Student Support Officers in Term 3.

Mr Marshall said additional mental health support was also being provided to schools in regional and remote NSW.

“Primary and central schools have access to a team of specialist psychologists who will provide a dedicated fly-in-fly out service to ensure rural and remote students can access regular and timely psychology support,” he said.

“This is about making it easier for students to get a helping hand on the spot when they are doing it tough, and that they know where to go to get additional specialist mental health and wellbeing support when they need it.”

If you or anyone you know is experiencing emotional distress and needs support, please call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 and Lifeline on 13 11 14. 

For more information about the program, visit

Media Release: Wednesday, September 16, 2020