Qualitative experiences of Australian mental health staff with students exposed to domestic violence

Emily Berger, Lauren Meltzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The prevalence of domestic violence is concerning due to its debilitating impact on the psychological, social and academic functioning of children. This study explored the experiences, strengths and challenges of school mental health staff in relation to students exposed to domestic violence. Interviews with 10 school wellbeing staff working in Victoria, Australia, showed that these staff felt confronted and distressed, and were unsure of their role in managing the complexities associated with students’ exposure to domestic violence. Staff reported the need for educators, students and parents to be educated on domestic violence, and for improved school structures and policies that encourage staff consultation and self-care following students’ disclosures of domestic violence. The results of this study are discussed within the context of trauma-informed practice and multi-tiered mental health promotion in schools.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalSchool Psychology International
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • mental health workers
  • policy
  • practice
  • schools
  • trauma

Cite this