Almost €500,000 has been allocated to NUI Galway and the GMIT to recruit additional student counsellors and assistant psychologists.
A total of €313,000 has been allocated to NUIG and €164,000 to GMIT to specifically support student’s mental health and wellbeing. The funding will be used to recruit the additional appropriate staff; to support the Implementation of the Framework for Consent; and the soon to be published National Students Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Framework.
'While more needs to be done in relation to mental health supports and services in the city, this is an important targeted step'
The funding has been welcomed by Clodagh Higgins, the Fine Gael councillor for Galway City West, who also works as a psychologist. She said the investment will "make a difference" in supporting students "meaningfully during this difficult time" as they return to education.
Covid-19 and impact on youth mental health
"We are well aware of the negative mental health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic," she said, "but there is a particular concern that youth are most affected and impacted. Every outlet children and youth had access to, such as sports, recreational, and educational facilities were closed, which severely limited their opportunities for important social interaction”.
The funding for Galway is part of a State-wide package of €5 million being made available to support student’s mental health and wellbeing. “While more needs to be done in relation to general mental health supports and services in the city," said Cllr Higgins, "this is an important targeted step."