More counsellors and nurses welcomed by Midlothian MSP

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Plans that will help provide an additional 350 school counsellors across Scotland, have been backed by Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay’s draft budget proposals for 2019/20 include a £12 million increase in mental health funding for schools, taking the Scottish Government’s total mental health spend to £1.1 billion.

By the end of academic year 2019-20, every local authority will also be offered training for teachers in mental health first aid – with an additional 250 school nurses in place by 2022. Eighty additional counsellors will also be provided for Scotland’s colleges and universities over the next four years.

Mr Beattie (SNP) said:“Our mental health is one of the most important issues in Scotland today – the SNP has made enormous strides in improving support for mental health services in recent years.

“If approved by MSPs, the Scottish Government’s plans will help transform mental health services in schools – benefitting our young people here in Midlothian and across the country.

“I am urging my political opponents from across Midlothian to support the Finance Secretary’s plans and secure this transformative investment for mental health services in schools.”

NUS Scotland president Liam McCabe also welcomed the proposed funding for mental health in education.

He added: “Improving mental health services for students has long been a campaigning priority for NUS Scotland, and the Government’s recognition of the need to tackle the mental health crisis unfolding on Scotland’s campuses is welcome.”