Fine Gael Deputy Alan Dillon welcomes the allocation of €5 million by Government to support students’ mental health and wellbeing, specifically €164,000 which has been allocated locally to Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology.
Deputy Dillon was speaking after Minister for Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science, Simon Harris, announced a national package of €5 million to support students.
Deputy Dillon said: "This significant funding comes at a time of great urgency around student support and re-opening planning for the next academic year. The funding will be used to: (1 ) Recruit additional Student Counsellors; (2 ) Recruit additional Assistant Psychologists; (3 ) Implementation of the Framework for Consent in HEIs; Safe, Respectful, Supportive and Positive: Ending Sexual Harassment in Irish Higher Education Institutions and (4 ) Implementation of the soon-to-be published National Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Framework."
Deputy Dillon continued: "Mental health is probably the number one health issue for young people in Ireland today. The concerns and worries of young people around their mental health have been compounded by the isolation and uncertainly brought forward by the Covid-19 Pandemic. For students, the college experience has been different this year from ever before. Students have had to adjust to remote learning carried out without face-to-face support from their college or peers.
"For these reasons, Minister Harris has prioritised funding to support student counselling services, key mental health interventions and the provision of a safe, respectful, supportive and positive environment in our higher education institutions. This important funding for colleges will really help support students as they return to third level education in this Covid world."