Primary school children to receive counselling
More than 600 primary school children in Glasgow are to undergo short counselling courses to help them cope with problems at home and school.
The move forms part of a pilot project, run by a joint venture between the city council and the UK charity, The Place2Be. The charity employs more than 600 trained volunteer counsellors - in addition to mental health professionals - and is already working with more than 58,000 children in 172 primary schools.
All of these children live in deprived parts of England and Wales, and a similar scheme has been operating in Edinburgh.
A specialist team consisting of a qualified counsellor or therapist, and four trained counsellors, are set to be on site at two East-End schools. The two schools taking part, St Benedict's and Aultmore Park, were chosen because of the levels of need in both the school and community.
Pupils will be able to gain advice and attend support group sessions during their break times. Topics raised can include concerns about moving to secondary schools, problems with friends, bullying or worries over other issues at school or at home.
Furthermore, there will be some sessions which involve entire classes, in addition to one-to-one counselling sessions, which will be held weekly with children who have been referred to the service.
Maureen McKenna, the council's education director, told the Evening Times: "The counselling responds directly to the needs of the child, based on clinical assessment, and can be provided on a short or long-term basis, which can be anything up to a full school year."
"Evidence from other schools has shown that the service is extremely popular and is used, on average, by more than 60 per cent of the school population during the year.