Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan MLA has directly appealed to the Education Minister to urgently develop a strategy to support the emotional health and well-being of children and young people.
The West Belfast MLA said:
“Today Minister Weir attended the Education Committee and I once again took the opportunity to push the need for a coherent and integrated strategy led by the Department of Education aimed at supporting and recovering the mental health and well-being of children and young people.
“While I welcomed various initiatives to date from the Department of Education, I made the point that these approaches are disjointed, inadequately funded and often only scratch the surface, they will not address the tsunami of challenges which our young people are facing during these unprecedented times.
“If we are serious about re-building and supporting our children and young people as we emerge from this pandemic then we need to see that reflected in an adequately resourced, cross-cutting strategy.
“This needs to be developed in consultation with other departments, delivered in partnership with the community and voluntary sector and informed by the advice of teachers and mental health experts.”