Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare South and Chairperson on the Oireachtas Education Committee Fiona O’Loughlin TD says the Government should roll out a new wellbeing initiative to all primary and secondary schools as soon as possible.
Deputy O’Loughlin made the comments after the Department of Education and Skills confirmed that it will roll out a training programme for teachers in disadvantaged schools to help them reduce pupils’ anxiety.
Deputy O’Loughlin said, “The decision to roll out a training programme to teachers in disadvantaged schools to help them identify and address anxiety problems that pupils’ face is a hugely positive development. Numerous studies have shown intervention at a young age can help young people to deal with anxiety issues as they progress through life.
“Minister Bruton has confirmed that teachers in disadvantaged schools will receive training to help reduce pupils’ anxiety. I’m hopeful that the Government will extend this training to teachers across all schools as quickly as possible. Anxiety issues are particularly prevalent in disadvantaged schools, but it is an issue that affects people from all walks of life nonetheless.
“The Oireachtas Education Committee recently published a report highlighting the steps that need to be taken to promote positive mental health in schools. The report outlined how teachers should be allocated sufficient time, training and resources to enable them to promote positive mental health amongst students of all ages. This is something which the Government is going to have to work on in the coming months.
“Fianna Fáil has been prioritising investment in mental health services under our Confidence and Supply Arrangement. I will be working with my party colleagues to ensure schools receive the resources they need to tackle mental health issues,” concluded Deputy O’Loughlin.