Pilot scheme launches offering free counselling to primary school children across seven counties – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Pilot scheme launches offering free counselling to primary school children across seven counties

The Education Minister has announced a €5 million pilot program that will offer free counselling to children in all primary schools in seven counties.

Norma Foley said it will offer a “long overdue” service in schools and aim to tackle growing anxiety among young children – caused by several factors including the Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of the pilot program, free mental health counselling and support will be available in all elementary schools in Cavan, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Monaghan and Tipperary counties from September this year, reports Breaking News.

To prevent their difficulties, children can have up to eight free personal counselling sessions in the next school year.

Counties were selected to participate in the pilot program based on the availability of consultants in the area.

Parents and school staff are involved in the process and receive guidance and encouragement to support their child at home and at school.

The Ministry of Education said all primary schools involved in the pilot would receive more information next week, including information for parents, reports Breaking News.

Ms Foley said she estimates that between 4,000 and 4,500 students will benefit from the pilot’s services.

“I think that’s important because the greater the bandwidth, the greater the learning,” she said, reports Breaking News.

She added: “Covid has heightened – not just among our young people – Covid has heightened anxiety right across society: we see it in the young members of society, we also see it in older members of society, that’s I suppose the reality we’ve had to live through. I absolutely would say social media. I think we’re very conscious of the world of social media – the access that young people have to it. And we’re very clear ourselves in terms of the new strategies we have in schools,” reports Breaking News.

Tell us your thoughts in the Facebook post and share this with your friends.

Share this story with a friend

Share this story

Tell us what you think on our Facebook page