A new programme to introduce free counsellors into Schools will help young students access important mental health services according to a local principal.
The 5 million euro project was officially announced this morning, and will involve officials from the Department of Education helping schools establish a panel of counsellors, with teachers working to identify students who would benefit the most.
The programme is designed to recognise the impact of COVID-19 on primary school-aged children and will work to help those facing mental health challenges.
The initiative is to be trialled in Longford, Leitrim, Cavan, Laois, Mayo, Monaghan, and Tipperary.
Principle of Melview National School in Longford, Bryan Kennedy, says the last 3 years have been tough for young children, with many occasions and milestones missed due to the pandemic.
Speaking to Let's Talk today, he hopes the initiative will help reduce waiting lists for juvenile mental health services.
"Children weren't able to have birthday parties or see their friends, family, grandparents. There were emotional and mental scars from that not alone with adults but with the children as well. Sometimes they can be very resilient but children have had a tough few years as well and we really need these counselling services for some children out there who need to talk. Some children bounce back quicker than others but we're all different and I think this initiative being rolled out in seven counties will give great support to familes and to children who have been struggling".