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03rd Oct 2022

Primary school kids to be offered in-school counselling

Kat O'Connor

“Students have met many challenges”

Children in primary school are set to be offered in-school counselling.

Both parents and teachers are concerned about the rising levels of anxiety among school children, especially those in primary school.

To combat the rise in children suffering from anxiety, the Department of Education plans on introducing in-school counselling.

There are multiple reasons behind the increase in children suffering from mental health issues, but one of the main ones is social media usage. Younger children are using social media more than ever before, but it is exposing them to trolling and online bullying.

Other factors include the Covid-19 pandemic, self-confidence issues, domestic problems, and bullying.

€5 million has been allocated to fund the new scheme.

Minister for Education Norma Foley hopes to launch the programme in primary schools next September.

Foley said she hopes the programme will support students who have been through quite a lot in the past few years.

She told, “I’m conscious that within the primary school sector there is an opportunity for us to look at wellbeing supports in the area of counseling”.

She also said counselling will be an “integral” part of the school week.

“I am very conscious that students, in particular in the last number of years, have met many challenges.”

The news comes after Foley announced free school books for primary school children as part of Budget 2023.