We’re pleased to see the Scottish Government confirm its first payments have been sent to university and colleges in the country as part of a huge programme of investment in counselling.

The government last year committed to spending £20 million providing 80 new counsellors across Scotland’s further and higher education institutions

Colleges and universities will receive more than £3.6 million this academic year, with the rest of the investment to come over the next three years.

We  played a core role in lobbying for this important investment in partnership with NUS Scotland and SAMH, the Scottish Association for Mental Health. 

Institutions are being given guidance to stipulate how the money should be spent.

The government has said that all counsellors funded by this investment must be on a register accredited by the Professional Standards Agency, such as the BACP register. The roles would be open to our registered and accredited members.

Counselling at the heart of policies

Steve Mulligan, our Four Nations Lead, who is a member of the Working Group established to advise on implementation, said:

“We’re pleased to see Scottish Government put counselling at the heart of their policies to support the wellbeing of children and young people in Scotland and they are  leading by example with this investment into college and university student’s mental health. Seeing the money go to institutions shows the positive impact of our campaigning finally come to fruition ”

“We have lobbied for this investment with our members in Scotland and have worked with officials to ensure that this translates in to additional paid opportunities for counsellors that doesn’t put existing provision at risk and critically provides our vulnerable young people in Scotland with the support they need. We look forward to further involvement in this important initiative as it progresses.”

This is part of a wider package of measures where Scottish Government will invest £80 million over the next four years in providing counsellors across education settings, including £60 million to also fund counsellors in all secondary schools.

Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“Supporting the health and wellbeing of students is essential if they are to achieve their full potential. I want every student to be able to access the mental health support they need, regardless of whether they are at college or university, and we will work closely with the sectors to achieve this.”

Read the guidance sent to further and higher education institutions.