Labour has made an election pledge to fund a qualified counsellor in every school as part of its General Election manifesto.
It has said it wants to recruit 3,500 qualified, on-site secondary school counsellors to ensure vulnerable young people get access to the mental health support they need.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn announced the £845 million Healthy Young Minds Plan today, which includes access to a qualified counsellor for every primary school in Britain. The party says this is to ensure early prevention and identification of psychological issues.
We have lobbied all parties about providing counsellors in all schools – and have supplied them with costings to show how this could work.
Martin Bell, our Deputy Head of Policy and Public Affairs, said:
“It’s fantastic that the Labour Party are placing school counselling at the heart of their plan to support young people’s mental health.
“I hope other parties will join them in realising what a crucial role school counsellors can play in helping to tackle the mental health crisis that is affecting our young people.
“School counselling is often the only opportunity young people have to access vital support, because they face long waits for NHS services or do not meet the threshold for that care.
“We have stressed to all parties that school counsellors can play a transformative effect in young people’s lives. We’ve also supplied them with costings to show how qualified, paid counsellors can be employed in schools.
“We need all candidates from all political parties to understand that school counselling is an essential early intervention – and for parties to include it into their manifesto and once elected, their policies.”
We’ve contacted all parties with our key ‘manifesto asks’ which will be published soon as part of new dedicated election webpages, sharing what you can do to engage your local General Election candidates to help us protect and promote counselling across the country.
This will include some handy guides, alongside questions that you can put to your election candidate, either in writing or if they knock on your door.
We will be publishing the commitments relating to counselling and mental health from all parties as announcements are made and manifestos are published.