Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has called on the Minister for Education to establish a dedicated support helpline and counselling service for Leaving Cert students who have been impacted by the decision to postpone this year’s exams due to Covid-19.
“The last few weeks have been incredibly difficult for most people; not least Leaving Cert students who are enduring great anxiety and stress at the moment.
“The priority at this point in time needs to be the safeguarding of students welfare and mental health, and there is a need for a dedicated helpline to provide counselling and support services to help deal with the pressures students are facing.
“I am aware that some supports are available through the National Psychological Service, but in my view we need a dedicated helpline that is resourced to provide mental health supports and also the ability to answer questions that students may have; acting as a one-stop-shop for queries.
“The Leaving Cert presents an enormous challenges at the best of times but it has been made even more daunting this year by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“That is why we need a dedicated and well resourced counselling and mental health helpline, and I urging the Minister for Education and his Department to establish this as a matter of urgency.”