28 January 2021

Counsellors to contribute to improvements in pupils' mental health and wellbeing

Ten trainee counsellors are to begin work with schools next month.

Last year the Education and Children’s Services Committee agreed plans for Aberdeenshire Council to develop its own school counselling provision because there were insufficient qualified counsellors with experience of working with children and young people.  

The school counsellors will ensure a consistent and equitable approach across Aberdeenshire. They will contribute to improved mental health outcomes and wellbeing for children and young people aged ten and above.

The trainee school counsellors become fully qualified at the end of a 23-month period of fixed term employment. After this period, they will become school counsellors. The counsellors will gradually build up a caseload over the course of their training.  During this time, they will also be working with pastoral teams in Academies to support the wellbeing of pupils in a variety of other ways.  Counselling sessions will be delivered virtually as a result of the current restrictions on schools due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, said: “I am really pleased to see the council take the initiative to boost provision that will make a huge difference to children and young people from all backgrounds. Health and wellbeing of children and young people is a key priority for the council. The ten trainee school counsellors will play an important role of meeting this aim in our school settings. I wish them all well with their new roles.”

Committee vice chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce added: “Health and wellbeing is always important, but it has taken on a new significance in light of the Coronavirus pandemic and resultant Covid-19 restrictions. I have absolutely no doubt that the ten trainee school counsellors will provide vital support in the months ahead. I would like to wish them all the best of luck in their endeavours.”