If young people are to emerge from the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic and flourish academically and socially, supporting their mental health in the weeks, months and years to come must be a priority.

School counsellors can have a positive effect on young people’s confidence, resilience, family relationships, friendships, school attendance and academic achievement. They can help children cope and come through issues such as family problems, anxiety, stress, change, grief, trauma, friendship and relationship difficulties, and the difficulties of moving from one school to another.

But while Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have statutory funded school counselling services, not all children and young people in schools in England have easy access to a counsellor. And existing Government plans for mental health support for young people in England are inadequate.

England needs to catch up with the other UK nations in the mental health support it offers children and young people – and there is no more crucial time than now to do this.

School counsellors are expecting a huge influx in demand for their services over the next few months and will play a critical role in supporting young people through the next stage of this pandemic.

We need your support now

The Government is currently undertaking its Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), which sets the blueprint for departmental spending for the next four years. Now is a critical time to gain financial commitment from the Treasury for a sustainable school counselling programme.

We are calling on you to help us secure this goal by writing directly to your MP. We've created a letter template asking MPs and ministers alike to lend their support to our campaign within any representations they or their parties are making to the CSR process.

Just use the link above to send this letter direct to your MP. The CSR closes on 24 September.

You can read more about school counselling and why this campaign is necessary on our School counselling campaign page.