Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
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IACP Applauds Cabinet Approval of Counselling in Schools Pilot Programme [30/05/23]

The IACP Applauds Cabinet Approval of Counselling in Schools Pilot Programme

The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) welcomes the news that the Cabinet has approved Minster of Education Norma Foley’s plan to invest €5 million in piloting counselling supports for primary school children, as part of the wider programme Cineáltas: Action Plan on Bullying.

Speaking today, Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy CEO Lisa Molloy stated:

“Counselling services available through schools has been a top priority for our organisation for many years, I am delighted to hear the news that the pilot programme will be launched this autumn in primary schools in seven counties. 

Our members participated in a spring survey conducted by the National Educational Psychology Service (NEPS) to assess their interest, competence, and availability to take part in panels to staff the primary school counselling pilot. We will continue to offer our support to the department in any way we can be helpful, including in the recruitment process for establishing panels of qualified counsellors.” 

Séamus Sheedy, IACP Cathaoirleach commented: 

“Many children are having trouble coping with their mental health due to bullying, the long-term effects of the pandemic, and various other issues. The counselling pilot programme is a great start to providing access to mental health supports to children where and when they need it. We have seen time and time again that early intervention helps people gain coping mechanisms and often keeps small issues from becoming larger ones that require more intense intervention. Our hope is that counselling supports for all children in schools will be available across the country once the pilot’s results are analysed and a similar programme can be rolled out in secondary schools.”

A nationally representative general public survey, commissioned by the IACP and conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes (B&A) last summer, clearly demonstrates the support of the public for this essential service. It found that 93% of people think that children/adolescents should have access to counselling/psychotherapy through schools.


For further information or to arrange an interview please contact the IACP Communications Department - Nicole Mac Dermott,, 087 720 6033 or Wayne Tobin,, 089 214 2276.

Notes to the Editor:

About IACP:

The IACP was established in 1981 to identify, develop, and maintain professional standards of excellence in counselling and psychotherapy. Our work promotes best practice and the development of the profession. The IACP represents more than 5,000 members based in communities all over the country and is the largest counselling and psychotherapy association in Ireland. More information is available from the IACP’s website


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