The Youth Health Team of the Western Sydney Local Health District has placed six new health and wellness nurses in Western Sydney schools -

The Youth Health Team of the Western Sydney Local Health District has placed six new health and wellness nurses in Western Sydney schools –

Standing behind from left to right – Yash Amarasekara / Janet Anwar / Brenda Mwanza
Sitting in front of L to R – Jenille Mina / Sharon Albrecht / Wai (Zoe) Cheng

The Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Youth Health Team has recruited six new Care and Health Nurses (WHIN) coordinators in Western Sydney secondary schools.

As part of a commitment to improving the overall health of students in NSW (New South Wales), the program places a welfare nurse in select secondary schools to provide “affordable” delivery to students and their families.

Six WHINs have attended the following Western Sydney high schools: Greystanes High, Granville South Performing Arts, Chifley College Shalvey, Doonside Technology High, Arthur Phillip High and Cumberland High.

WHINS also supports students from the elementary schools that feed these secondary schools.

One of WHIN, based at Granville School, Janet, has over 100 young people and family members currently in her care and said, “Being WHIN is fun and I love that not a single day at work is the same.”

Janet has worked as a nurse at WSLHD for more than 20 years and “was drawn to the role of WHIN to help empower young people.”

Karen McPhail, Principal of Granville South Public School, praised the WSLHD Youth Health initiative and said, “I just wanted to say thank you. I don’t know where you came from Janet, but she really is an absolute angel. She makes a huge difference in the lives of some of our families.”

Welfare nurses develop relationships with community services in their areas and liaise with their school’s welfare educators and learning support teams to provide comprehensive care and support to students and their families.

WHINs provide students with health education across a wide range of related topics including mental health, sexual health, and substance abuse.

The team is currently working on providing educational sessions on the dangers of vaping.

When WHINs were asked about how students in their schools would benefit from the program, better access to health services and improved health literacy was the resounding response.

WHINs bring a wealth of experience with them and decades of experience working with youth.

Jenelle was a Specialist Clinical Nurse and Educator at Sydney Children’s Hospital and has also worked in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit.

At Arthur Phillip High School, she is actively involved in bridging the gap between education and health.

Sharon is located at Doonside Technology High School and knows WSLHD well, having provided nursing to members of the community for over 30 years.

She loves the team of WHINs she works with and said she is “excited to work with a team of highly motivated nurses who love to share resources and knowledge.”

Graeme Pringle, WSLHD Youth Health Coordinator, is excited about the program as it allows students and their families at WSLHD to have access to a welfare nurse to meet their health needs.

The Well-being Nurse Program is another way we provide young people with access to appropriate health services to ensure that they are able to participate in their education.”

Graeme Pringle

The WHIN Coordinator program began as a pilot program in 2018 and is a partnership between NSW Health and the NSW Department of Education.

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