The MHWL Role

The role of the MHWL is to build the capability of the whole school with regard to mental health and wellbeing (identification, promotion and prevention), provide support to staff to better identify and support students with mental health needs, establish clear pathways for referral for students requiring assessment and intervention, and monitor and evaluate student progress. The role was specifically established as a coordination function to support educators in the classroom and to provide a crucial link to resources external to the school.

The MHWL role is quite different to a Student Support Services officer or psychologist – it is not a clinical role and is not designed for direct intervention. The role is seen as a key conduit in ‘getting a child to care’ once a teacher or other staff member identifies a concern in the classroom.

The role is designed to provide a proactive focus for the promotion and prevention of mental health and wellbeing through assessment and implementation of context-relevant programs, approaches and initiatives based on a broad and extensive knowledge of the needs of the school.

Operating in collaboration with the Department of Education and Training's area-based multi-disciplinary teams, the MHWL:

  • Embeds evidence-based training and resources across the school to build the capability of staff to better identify and support students
  • Provides support to individual teachers in the classroom with students who have been identified as in need
  • Creates clear pathways for students who may need further assessment and intervention within the school and to external community-based services
  • Uses informed referral pathways to strengthen linkages between schools and community services
  • Works proactively with regional staff, school wellbeing teams and other health professionals to engage appropriate mental health support
  • Is responsible for implementing whole-school approaches to mental health and wellbeing
  • Contributes to the development of larger-scale reform, promoting what works to support students’ mental health and wellbeing.

MHWL role


For more information about the MHiPS training program contact:

Proudly in partnership with

MHiPS would like to acknowledge the Ian Potter Foundation, the Victorian Department of Education and Training, the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, SALT Catalyst, Bupa, the RE Ross Trust and the R.M. Ansett Trust for their support in establishing the initiative.