TD welcomes €5m mental health funding

Pilot programme to be rollout out in Irish primary schools.

An announcement that counselling services will be provided to children in primary schools across seven counties, including Cavan and Monaghan, under a new €5m pilot programme has been welcomed locally.

It is the first time a counselling service has been rolled out in Irish primary schools.

The pilot programme will be delivered across two strands.

The first will see one-to-one counselling sessions for primary schools across counties Cavan, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Monaghan, Tipperary, via access to a Department of Education-approved counsellor.

The second will see the introduction of wellbeing practitioners, who will work under the supervision of National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) psychologists.

The announcement was made by Minister for Education Norma Foley.

Welcoming the announcement, Cavan-Monaghan Fianna Fáil TD, Brendan Smith, said: "Minister Foley has recognised the impact of Covid-19 on primary school-aged children and this service is designed to help those young students who may be suffering from mental health challenges stemming from the pandemic.

"Developing and promoting wellbeing across our education system is a key priority for Fianna Fáil in Government as it is essential to allowing children to learn and grow to the very best of their abilities."