Leading the Way in Suicide Prevention

An inspiring young woman who has made it her mission to raise awareness and educate the community on suicide prevention, has been recognised as the 2022 Cootamundra Electorate Woman of the Year.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke congratulated Young resident Seryn Adams on the honour, acknowledging her invaluable work in the community.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Seryn for many years now, most recently at the mental health nights that I hosted around the electorate, and know first-hand how much of an impact she makes,” Ms Cooke said.

“Seryn continues to make incredible contributions to the community through her tireless passion for mental health and providing much-appreciated support to those in need in her role at the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network where she has also been a pioneer in the development of various mental health resources.”

“Seryn does an amazing job speaking to the community on the incredibly sensitive topic, breaking through the stigma and making that sure everyone feels safe and comfortable while having these tough conversations.”

The NSW Women of the Year Awards were held at the International Convention Centre, Sydney on March 9, 2022 with Seryn in attendance joined by other award recipients from right across the state.

The Local Woman of the Year Awards is an annual program which recognises and celebrates the support women give to their local communities across NSW.

Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor congratulated the State’s Local Women of the Year Award recipients.

“These women are the backbone of their communities, volunteering their time and energy to make a positive difference,” Mrs Taylor said.

“I would like to acknowledge their significant efforts to support their local communities and thank them for all the amazing work they do.”

The Local Woman of the Year Awards are one way the NSW Government celebrates the achievements of women as part of International Women’s Day on March 8 2022.

Scholarships Now Open for Aspiring Mental Health Workers in our Schools

The NSW Government is continuing to prioritise student wellbeing by ensuring a strong pipeline of qualified mental health professionals in our schools.

The impacts of COVID-19, drought, flooding and bushfires have played out within our school communities, making mental health a key challenge facing young people across the state.

Our Government is committed to supporting students through these challenges by providing over 80 scholarships this year to encourage aspiring counsellors and graduate psychologists to choose a rewarding career within the school counselling service.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the scholarship was a great way to attract graduates and encourage existing teachers to train as mental health professionals and support students.

“Choosing a rewarding career as a school counsellor or psychologist means you will have an opportunity to have meaningful impact on students’ lives,” Ms Cooke said.

“It is so important that mental health professionals work collaboratively with teachers, families, school leaders and the wider community to help create that supportive learning environment our students need.”

There are three scholarships on offer, including; a training program for teachers to become a school counsellor; a program for psychology graduates to gain experience in schools; and a rural scholarship program for participants with an existing psychology qualification to work in rural and remote schools while completing their masters.

This year is the first year the NSW Department of Education will have graduates completing a rural training pathway for school psychologists.

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the scholarship will cover the cost of tuition fees up to $30,000.

“School counsellors and psychologists are so important for our communities, especially during challenging periods with uncertainties like COVID-19. They can make a real difference to the lives of children and young people, and we want to encourage more graduates to consider meaningful careers in our schools,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Expanding the school counselling service is one of a number of strategies in place to increase mental health and wellbeing supports in our schools.”

Information and application details for the school counsellor and school psychologist scholarship program are on the NSW Department of Education website at: https://education.nsw.gov.au/about-us/careers-at-education/scholarships-and-programs/scholarships/school-counselling-services-and-scholarships