January 20, 2022
Minister Donnelly must meet with representatives of psychology trainees – Mark Ward TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health Mark Ward TD has called on Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly to meet with representatives of psychology trainees in Ireland.

A petition of over 2,400 signatories was submitted to the Minister by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) calling for the disparity in funding for psychology trainees in Ireland to be addressed by government.

Teachta Ward said:

“I have met with representatives for psychology trainees on a number of occasions and, without fail, they mention the difficulties that trainee psychologists experience.

“The disparity in how trainee clinical psychologists and trainee counselling and educational/child psychologists are treated is a major concern.

“Currently, trainee clinical psychologists have 60% of their fees paid and receive a student salary starting at €33,000, while counselling and educational/child trainee psychologists pay fees of between €12,000 and €15,000 per year and do a minimum of 300 hours’ unpaid work throughout the duration of their study.

“Counselling and educational trainees must self-fund for the full period of their doctoral training as well as pay €14,000 per year in university fees.

“This results in many not being able to afford to enter the profession, or only a select few who can afford to self-fund, which risks the psychological workforce not being representative of the full socio-economic spectrum of the community they represent and support.

“At present, there are almost 10,000 children waiting on a primary care psychology appointment, so it is incumbent on government to do everything in its power to address this waiting list.

“Sinn Féin recognised this and included multi-annual funding for trainee counselling and educational/child psychologists in our alternative budget.

“I have written to Minister Stephen Donnelly and asked that he meet with the Psychological Society of Ireland with a view to putting in place measures to address this inequality.”

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