MSP welcomes £60m investment for counsellors in schools

Ms Martin called for more support to be provided within schools to pupils unable to readily access mental health services
Ms Martin called for more support to be provided within schools to pupils unable to readily access mental health services

Counsellors will be placed in schools across Scotland after the First Minister announced the plans in the Programme for Government.

The move comes after Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin called for more to be done in early intervention and to bridge the gap between accessibility to services amid the surge in demand for mental health services.

An estimated £60million will be spent in the next few years to invest in 350 new counsellors across schools and an additional 250 nurses.

The First Minster told the chamber the move would ensure every school had a counselling service.

Earlier this year, it was revealed in NHS Grampian that the area had among the highest waiting times in Scotland.

The Scottish Government has already committed £5million in funding and set up a taskforce to improve CAMHS in Scotland.

Ms Martin called for more support to be provided within schools to pupils unable to readily access mental health services and to support existing pastoral care.

With almost half of mental health problems experienced in later life being present by the age of 14, the charity believes there is a clear need to focus more on identifying and preventing mental ill health in children and young people.

Ms Martin said: “This is a huge investment commitment from the Scottish Government to help provide counselling services for young people in education.

“Our children are facing continued pressure in the modern day world, particularly from social media, and there is a clear correlation between this and increased need for mental health services.

“This investment by the Scottish Government is another step in the right direction in support of mental health services.

“I am delighted after talks with Ministerial colleagues that the needs of young people have been listened to.”