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Labour promises therapy for children and teens in universal school counsellor pledge

UNDER a Labour government every secondary school would have an in-house qualified counsellor to assist pupils in becoming happier, the party announced today.

Labour has pledged to recruit almost 3,500 on-site secondary school counsellors and said it would also ensure primary schools receive a drop-in visit from a counsellor at least once a week.

The party said it hoped that the talk-therapy proposals, announced ahead of the general election, would help identify early onset of psychological issues such as depression and anxiety.

Labour also vowed to establish a network of drop-in “mental-health hubs” to enable 300,000 more children access support under its Healthy Young Minds plan, estimated to cost £845 million a year.

Leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “Mental-health workers do incredible work, but our society is fuelling mental illness on a huge scale and our young people are not getting the support they need.

“As a country, we have to start treating mental health as seriously as physical health.

“If we don’t help our young people, we are not only failing them but storing up problems for the future for a whole generation.”

According to a survey of more than 12,000 young people this year by mental-health charity Mind, three in five have experienced a mental-health problem or are close to someone who has.

It has also uncovered data that shows that in the past year NHS England cancelled 175,000 appointments in child and adolescent mental-health services — an overall increase of 25 per cent compared with the previous year.

Shadow health minister Barbara Keeley said that the “government is failing children” and that “our young people deserve better.”

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