Counselling in schools makes positive progress

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Hundreds of thousands pounds is being spent on delivering a new counselling service for children and young people in the area.

Argyll and Bute Council was awarded £286,000 through the Scottish Government’s 10 year Mental Health Strategy to provide the service over the last 12 months, and a further £377,000 has also been awarded for each of the next three years to help run it.

Significant progress has been made in recruiting a team of counsellors and creating the service which also received extra funding from The Argyll and Bute Alcohol and Drug Partnership for an additional post  dedicated to helping primary school children aged 10 years and up.

A team leader was appointed in December and six and a half full-time experienced counsellors have been in post since 11 January.

Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, Policy Lead for Education in Argyll and Bute, welcomed the progress saying the positive mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people is a priority and that the funding has helped complement existing services.

‘The last 12 months have been particularly challenging for our school pupils, so it’s more important than ever that we help them in any way we can. Providing support at an early stage can have a significant impact on preventing problems from arising in the future and can lead to improvements in attainment, attendance and behaviour, as well as happier, more confident pupils.

‘Whilst it is extremely encouraging to see the positive progress has already been made in the area in terms of these support services, there is still a lot of work to be done and we are committed to ensuring that every child and young person has access to the help they need without any fear of judgement.’