Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Education Senator Robbie Gallagher will lead a debate next week on his Bill which will see teachers trained in occupational first aid and mental health first aid.

The First Aid and Mental Health in Schools (Initial Teacher Training) Bill 2018 will place a requirement on all trainee teachers to complete training in occupational first aid and mental health first aid before they take up a post.

“Being primary school teacher now involves so much more than day to day lesson plans and teaching.  Mental health awareness and wellbeing is a major issue and many teachers are concerned that they do not have the training or skills to deal with the problems that are arising.  I have been engaging with teachers on this for some time, and this Bill aims to address the majority of issues they have brought to my attention”, said Senator Gallagher.

“This legislation will see all trainee and new teachers complete a course in occupational first aid response along with training in mental health first aid.  The level of training can be decided by the Education Minister in consultation with the teaching unions and relevant groups.

“We need to ensure that our teachers are fully equipped to deal with the challenges facing them and that they in turn feel that they are getting the necessary support to cope with these demands.

“I believe that this legislation is the first step in a series of measures which are needed to train teachers to deal with new and emerging problems which they are being presented with in school.  I look forward to next week’s debate and I hope that the Bill will be supported across the house”.