LESS than 30 per cent of Bendigo school staff believe students get appropriate mental health help fast enough, an Australian Education Union survey has revealed.
They were 8.6 per cent more likely to have concerns than those in Melbourne, the survey of 3500 Victorian union members found.
The survey informed part of the AEU Victoria branch's response to the Mental Health Royal Commission.
The state's mental health burden hit particularly hard in regional and rural areas, branch president Meredith Peace said.
"One thing we do know is when we don't respond in a timely way we can exacerbate what that student is dealing with and multiply its effects," she said.
The survey did not ask school staff about how long they were waiting.
Yet one issue some principals in the state's north-west and central region had raised with the union was delays getting in student support service officers like psychologists, speech pathologists and social workers, Ms Peace said.
"I think there simply is not enough of them and that can mean a wait of months," she said.
"That doesn't include an external layer of support you might be able to tap into, in terms of private speech pathologists or therapists. It can be difficult to access those kinds of services too."
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School staff in large regional cities including Bendigo reported "significantly" higher levels of issues than metropolitan areas, Ms Peace said.
Nearly 87 per cent indicated trauma affected student wellbeing, compared to 68.9 per cent in metro schools.
Fifty-eight per cent indicated drugs and alcohol affected student wellbeing compared to nearly 40 per cent in metropolitan schools.
Three quarters reported bullying affected student wellbeing, compared to 64.9 per cent in metro schools.
The AEU submission has called for a full review of the current provision of student access to mental health services.
It also has called for schools, TAFEs, governments and health providers to be compelled to work together to access support when students need it.
Ms Peace supported the Victorian government's May announcement mental health professionals would be deployed to government schools, but said it was just a small part of what is needed.
Under the government's mental health in schools program, every government secondary school would receive between one and five days a week of support depending on its size, requirements and existing welfare programs.
The program has begun rolling out in several parts of Victoria, but dates for central and northern Victoria are still to be confirmed.
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