Primary school children in Ireland to be offered in-school counselling 1 month ago

Primary school children in Ireland to be offered in-school counselling

"Students have met many challenges."

Irish children at primary school level are set to be offered in-school counselling.

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Both parents and teachers have expressed concerns 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 said to be down to social media usage. Younger children are using social media more than ever before, but it is exposing them to trolling and online bullying as a result.

Other factors include the Covid-19 pandemic, self-confidence issues, domestic problems, and bullying. €5 million has been allocated to fund the new scheme.

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Minister for Education Norma Foley hopes to launch the programme in primary schools in September of 2023.

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

She told the Irish Independent: "I'm conscious that within the primary school sector there is an opportunity for us to look at wellbeing supports in the area of counselling”.

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

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

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

Foley also had some cross words for opposition rivals Sinn Féin over the weekend, labelling the party "negative, spineless and baseless".