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Aberdeenshire East MSP welcomes mental health investment in Aberdeenshire schools

By Chris Cromar

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ABERDEENSHIRE East MSP, Gillian Martin has welcomed news that the Scottish Government will invest £2,896,000 in mental health in Aberdeenshire schools over the next four years.

The move comes after Gillian Martin called on Finance Secretary, Derek MacKay to make more government funding to be allocated to early intervention for adolescent mental health and to bridge the gap in provision amid a surge in demand for CAMHs services.

The investment will mean that professional counselling services will be available to all secondary school pupils who require it by September next year, with the Scottish Government investing £60 million across Scotland.

Counselling services currently delivered by qualified and registered counsellors through Pupil Equity or Scottish Attainment funding will continue, enabling local authorities to reallocate those funds to other priorities to help close the attainment gap.

School counsellors help support young people’s emotional, behavioural and mental health. Importantly, pupils will also have access to counsellors during school holidays, providing vital continuity of care.

Commenting, Gillian Martin MSP said: “This is a huge investment commitment from the Scottish Government to help provide counselling services for young people in education at the right time in the right place.

“Our children are facing continued pressure in the modern day world, particularly from social media, and there is a clear correlation between this and increased need for mental health services.

“This investment by the Scottish Government is another step in the right direction in support of mental health services.

“I am delighted after talks with Ministerial colleagues that the needs of young people have been listened to.”

Earlier this month it was announced that college and university students are to benefit from a £20 million investment in additional mental health counsellors.

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