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Ombudsman for Children welcomes provision of counselling in schools

The Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon, has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Education, Norma Foley, that a pilot scheme for counselling and mental health supports will be launched in September.

Speaking following the announcement, Niall said:

“The provision of counselling supports in schools, brought forward by Min. Foley today, sends a strong message to children that Government is committed to supporting their mental health. I very much welcome the approval of this pilot scheme, which will begin providing counselling supports in a number of schools from next September.

For many years my Office has been advocating for counselling supports in schools because children have told us, through our consultations and direct engagement, that this is what they want and need.

The approval of the first strand of the pilot scheme for the upcoming school year is a positive start and it shows students, parents and educators that help is at hand. I look forward to the announcement of the second strand in the coming weeks.

I also welcome the Minister’s comments today stating that this is the first step towards providing counselling services in all schools, as a long term commitment is needed to allow the time to prove this approach is working, and to ensure more children can avail of these services.”