We support the new Children’s Commissioner for England’s call for every child to have access to a school counsellor.

Dame Rachel de Souza says children need better access to mental health services as they return to school after the latest coronavirus lockdown.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Dame Rachel said: “There is a mental health epidemic among children and tackling it is going to be one of the biggest challenges after Covid.

“Many children feel they are facing an uncertain future and need better access to children’s mental health services.

“I would like every child in every school, wherever they live in England, to have access to a counsellor if they need one.”

School counselling campaign

Dame Rachel’s comments, which echo her predecessor Anne Longfield, who also advocated for school counselling, were welcomed by Jo Holmes, our Children, Young People and Families Lead.

We’ve been campaigning for a paid counsellor to be available in every secondary school, academy and further education college in England.

And Jo said: “It’s really pleasing that the new Children’s Commissioner is keeping the school-based counselling agenda alive.

“It’s a really important message and we wholeheartedly welcome her support for counsellors to be available in every school. We hope the government listens.

Vital support

“As children face increased change and uncertainty in their lives because of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever before they have access to this vital support.

“I look forward to working with the Children’s Commissioner to share this message with policy-makers, commissioners and government,” Jo added.