Petition Calling for Counselling Provision in All Schools

The facts speak for themselves…there are more young people than ever seeking help for their mental health.

  • One in five people will experience a mental health problem at some time in their lives (Scottish Government).  One in five children will experience a mental health difficulty at least once in their first 11 years.
  • One in three GP appointments involve mental health (SAMH).
  • An estimated one in 10 children and young people in the UK have a mental health condition (Office for National Statistics), and that these, if untreated, can continue into adulthood.
  • Half of all adults who are mentally ill experienced the onset of their mental health problems by the age of 14 (Kim-Cohen et al., 2003; Kessler et al., 2005). Without effective intervention, these conditions can have a significant impact on their life chances.
  • By the time they’re 16, roughly 3 children in every class will have experienced mental health problems. (Green et al 2005, Mental Health of Children and Young People in Great Britain 2004).
  • Over the past three years 17,500 children have had their mental health referrals to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) rejected.  The current waiting list for children and young people for CAMHS often exceeds the Government’s 18 week standard (NHS Statistics).  Offering early intervention in schools will also alleviate the pressure on acute services and other helplines and referrals.
  • On average two teenagers in every secondary school classroom will have hurt themselves in response to the pressure of growing up in an increasingly complex and challenging world. (NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde)
  • One in nine young Scots have attempted suicide and at least one in six have self-harmed at some stage in their lives – with 6.5 per cent of those surveyed reporting a history of both behaviours. (University of Glasgow, 2018)

Recent figures by the BBC show that counselling services are provided in only one tenth of Scottish schools, with more than 250,000 children having no access to school based counselling services.

Jo Waddel is a parent and volunteer counsellor working with children and young people, who has recently launched this petition campaigning for the Scottish Government to ensure counselling provision in all Scottish schools.

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