School counsellors in Wales have issued a passionate message about how statutory provision of school counselling has changed young people’s lives in their country over the past 10 years.

They spoke as part of our General Election campaign, which is calling on the next UK Government to commit to providing a paid counsellor in every school in England, in line with the rest of the UK.

Both Northern Ireland and Wales have had school-based counselling for over a decade, Scotland is now implementing its commitment to provide a counsellor in every secondary school.
England is now the only country in the UK without a government supported national programme for school-based counselling.

Our members in Wales have told us how children benefit from having counsellors within their schools – and how statutory provision of school counselling has been vital as an early intervention, helped decrease stigma and ensured young people have access to the support they need.

In the run up to the General Election on 12 December we told political parties in our manifesto submission how school-based counselling is a cost-effective and proven early intervention which improves children and young people’s mental health and emotional well-being.

Children and school staff respond positively to counselling as it is accessible, non-stigmatising and effective.

School leaders report improvements in attainment, attendance and behaviour of young people who have accessed services.