Colleges to receive €5m for mental health support for students

Colleges To Receive €5M For Mental Health Support For Students
The funding is destined for 17 higher education institutions across the State. Photo: PA Images
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Kenneth Fox

Colleges will receive €5 million in mental health support funding under a new plan announced by Minister for Further Education Simon Harris.

The funding is destined for 17 higher education institutions across the country and is intended to help recruit or retain student counsellors and assistant psychologists.


As the Irish Examiner reports, the allocation will see University College Cork (UCC) awarded €349,298, while the Munster Technological University will receive €287,427.

A total of 77 counsellors were hired last year.

Since 2020, over €20 million has been given to institutions to help students and their mental health.

In a statement, the department said the funding is "an important investment in the wellbeing and support of students across the country".


Mr Harris said it was recognition that the current generation of college students is facing unique challenges.

“We know this generation are facing mental health challenges like no other.

The pressure our young people are facing requires important interventions at the right stage of their lives. That is why we have provided €20.9 million to Higher Education Institutions since 2020.

Crucially, this has allowed universities to recruit additional student counsellors, additional assistant psychologists — 77 were hired last year alone.

“The funding this year will embed these services in our college campuses.”

Universities who receive the funding will be allowed to decide how best to spend the money, the minister said.

They can engage a range of other important staff in this domain, such as clinical case managers, heads of service, mental health officers, framework implementation managers, admin staff, mental health nurses or GPs.

Mr Harris said that since he took over his brief in 2020, college students have impressed upon him that they need supports.

“Since I became minister, I have travelled to almost every college campus in the country and one of the consistent messages I receive is that students need support in this area."

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