Not a single Wagga primary school has access to a full-time school counsellor, according to data released by the NSW Department of Education.
Wagga public schools currently share the equivalent of 10.75 full-time counsellors between them, with primary schools getting the least amount of coverage.
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The best-resourced primary school was Lake Albert Public, which had a "counsellor allocation" of 0.5, meaning it got the equivalent of 50 per cent coverage of a full-time counsellor.
Meanwhile Sturt Public and South Wagga had 30 per cent, North Wagga Public had 25, Forest Hill Public had 20, and Kapooka and Tarcutta Public had merely 5 per cent coverage.
NSW Teachers Federation Wagga representative Cameron Abood said those figures weren't good enough, especially in light of growing reports of mental illness among Wagga children.
"The students need access to quality support, especially with the increasing diversity, the ease of technology, and the complications of being a child these days," Mr Abood said.
"If you look at the statistics of mental health, we're becoming a lot more aware of the severity of the issues and the numbers of people requiring support. At the moment the ratio of support for students just isn't there."
Wagga federation president Michelle McKelvie said counsellors were struggling to manage the sheer volume of workload between all the different sites.
She said the demand for counsellors had grown even higher during lockdown, and warned that more children would fall through the cracks unless more support was provided.
"Counsellors are the first point of call for students so we can find support for them. If we don't have that counsellor there to assess them in the first place, a lot of them end up getting missed," Ms McKelvie said.
"The school counsellor shortage has been an issue for quite some time now. There's vacant positions schools just can't fill, and there are students that are in great need of their services."
However, she said that even when those positions are filled the workload was often unmanageable due to the sheer number of students in need.
Across the state the ratio of counsellor-to-student is 1 to 725, which she describes as woefully inadequate.
However, a Department of Education spokeswoman said increasing those ratios was not the best solution to providing better mental health support.
"Approaching quality mental health support through a ratio does not make sense, mental health is complex, and everyone's needs are unique," she said.
"By listening to the community, we can deliver a mosaic of mental health support that compliments what they receive in the community using local organisations and school resources."
The spokeswoman said by July of this year Wagga could expect to see an increase of counsellors from 10.75 to 11.1.
She went on to add that every high school would have a Student Support Officer to help students connect with local support services.
The government has previously promised to have 100 per cent full-time counsellor coverage for all high schools by July 2023.
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