15 February 2023
More children and young people than ever before are benefiting from mental health and wellbeing
support in schools, following an increase in the number of staff available. More information about support services is available on the Children and young people’s wellbeing and mental health website.
With a theme of Let’s Connect, this year’s Children and Young People’s Mental Health Week, 6 to 12
February, encouraged children and young people to connect to the networks and services that are
in place to support them.
Pupils can access support in school from a range of sources. Parents can speak to their child’s
teachers or form tutors to discuss any concerns they may have. Teachers can then work with the
school’s Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) to identify and arrange the appropriate
The Early Intervention Service
This was piloted in autumn 2022 to provide universal, group, and oneto-one support for children and young people as well as training courses, consultation for schools,
and family support.
The pilot worked with over 100 students in 1 to 1 and group sessions across primary schools,
secondary schools, and Highlands College. With the appointment of a permanent manager, the
Service will continue to develop its offer.
Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs)
These provide individual and group sessions for
students who need support with emotional literacy, mental health, social skills, and emotional
wellbeing. Since 2014, the team has grown to 100 staff members, with 23 more ELSAs qualifying in
These work across nurseries, primary and secondary schools and colleges. As
well as providing assessment for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN), they support
schools during crises and bereavements, and provide training and support for school staff.
The Minister for Children and Education, Deputy Inna Gardiner, said: “We all know that our mental
health and wellbeing has a direct impact on how much we can engage fully in the world around us.
The better we can support children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, the better
able they are to reach their full potential in education.
"That’s why it’s so important to have a range of mental health and wellbeing support available in
school. It makes it easier for children and young people to access and normalises taking care of
your own health and wellbeing.”
-Notes to Editors:
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