Mentors ‘Vital’

17th September 2013

COUNSELLING in school can have a significant positive impact on young people’s mental wellbeing.

That was the message from Education Minister, John O’Dowd, as he launched a report by Children’s Law Centre advisory group youth@clc into young people’s views on counselling in schools.

Speaking during a launch event in Parliament Buildings, the Minister said: “Professional counselling can be a massive support to a young person in distress. I have received many comments to this effect from pupils and staff during school visits and I know there is research available to back up this view too. This new report from youth@clc provides further evidence from those who are directly affected by school counselling — the young people themselves — and I welcome the opportunity to launch it.

“We as educationalists all face the challenge of encouraging young people to firstly recognise when they have a problem and, secondly, to seek help.

There can be a stigma attached to seeking such help but I hope that the work of youth@clc, including this report, is helping to reduce any such concerns among young people.

The key message to young people is that there is no shame in asking for help and that no one has to face their problems alone.”

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