£5m scheme to support therapeutic and counselling in primary schools in Northern Ireland

Education Minister Michelle McIlveen Credit: Pacemaker

The Education Minister has launched a £5 million scheme to support therapeutic and counselling services in primary schools in Northern Ireland.

The Healthy Happy Minds pilot service will include all primary schools, special schools with a primary cohort and primary EOTAS provision and will run until the end of March 2022.

Schools will receive allocations directly, 50% immediately and 50% in January 2022, to secure appropriate support for their children.

“I welcome today’s launch of the Healthy Happy Minds £5million therapeutic & counselling service. Crucially it will allow pupils in all primary schools to participate in therapeutic & counselling services until the end of March 2022,” said Michelle McIlveen at the launch event.

“The Healthy Happy Minds pilot is one of a range of measures supporting the implementation of the ‘Children and Young People’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing in Education Framework’, providing support to primary school pupils with an aim to prevent and reduce mental health issues.

“When we consider that 50% of mental health problems are established by the age of 14, the importance of promoting emotional health and wellbeing at the earliest stage is clear.”