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IACP Calls on the Government to Kickstart Pathfinder

The IACP (Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) calls on the Government to prioritize the introduction of school-based therapeutic counselling.

Ireland is experiencing a mental health crisis across all age groups, including our school going children. A Samaritans Suicide Statistics Report in 2018 highlighted the shocking figure that 64 people between the age of 0-24 Irish children died by suicide in 2017. 

“Urgent action is required to reverse this shocking statistic. In response to this and other alarming trends the IACP is proposing that a school-based therapeutic counselling service in our second level schools needs to be established as a matter of priority” says IACP CEO Lisa Molloy, “Our members are ready to provide this service within a State-funded school-based structure.” In addition to providing timely professional therapeutic interventions to school-going children, it is intended that this service will also provide much-needed support to the over-burdened Principals, Guidance Counsellors, Teachers and other professionals working in schools. Similar school-based services are already in place in the UK, and these services continue to be both successful and cost-effective.

The IACP presented their vision for school-based therapeutic counselling in second level schools in Leinster House on Wednesday 8th May. The presentation was facilitated by Senator Colette Kelleher (Ind) and the IACP were joined their counterparts from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) who presented on the success of similar initiatives in the UK.  

The IACP proposes that action must be taken to gain consensus on the best way forward from all relevant stakeholders. The obvious platform to enable this collaborative approach is Pathfinder. The IACP is calling for the immediate initiation of Pathfinder and urges that it pursue the funding, and delivery, of this critical school-based counselling service as its first priority.

 

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