Psych test call for Year 7 kids
ONE of the country's most respected psychologists will call on the Queensland Government to introduce psychological testing for every Year 7 student, amid fears children are facing a mental health crisis.
Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, who will visit Brisbane this weekend, told The Courier-Mail that each Year 7 student should have the opportunity to be psychologically tested as mental health problems in upper primary levels soar and the stresses of transition into high school hit unprecedented levels.
Close to 10 per cent of children aged six and seven show signs of social-emotional stress and one in five who started school in 2018 were identified as developmentally vulnerable, according to the The Australian Psychological Society (APS).
A shocking 50 per cent of lifelong mental health issues start before the age of 14.
"I will be making this desperate plea to the Queensland Government to offer help to these kids," Dr Carr-Gregg said.
The 'call out for help rate' from families is at an all time low but it is vital for early intervention and prompt treatment.
"The testing need not be compulsory but it must be on offer."
The expert also insists that parents should understand NAPLAN testing, which began yesterday, is an important lesson in resilience.
"It is the lack of resilience in our children that is at the core of many mental health problems," he said.
"Children need to experience difficult situations and learn how to handle them.
"The capacity to face problems is part of life."
Dr Carr-Gregg is just one of the speakers at a Resilient Kids conference this Saturday in Brisbane.
Other experts at the conference are Susan McLean, Melinda Tankard Reist, Hugh Van Cuylenberg, Michelle Mitchell and Collett Smart.
The Australian Psychological Society is also calling for the Queensland Government to invest in qualified psychologists in primary schools.
APS chief executive Frances Mirabelli says mental illness, family stress and breakdown, bullying, witnessing domestic violence or living with the trauma of sexual or psychological abuse, are just some reasons why students require expert psychological intervention.
"There has never been a greater need than now to provide evidence-based psychological interventions to support primary school students," she said.