In its programme for government announced in Holyrood yesterday, The Scottish Government promised £60 million in additional school nursing and counselling services.

Just ahead of this announcement by the First Minister I sat down with SNP Councillor Alison Dickie who is the Vice-Convener of Education Children and Families.  She told us about the plans that The City of Edinburgh council already has in place to deal with the need for mental health care, which she thinks should involve everyone, not just teachers.

Alison Dickie Vice-Convener of Education Children and Families

Councillor Dickie said : “Young people in the city are crying out about help for mental health. They ask us to support them by talking about mental health at the point of need. We have responded to that. Already our team is working around this in schools anyway, but this is a very simple way that might really help with prevention through early intervention.

“Schools are being encouraged to come together to shape what is best for them. So that could be speaking to somebody, it might be identifying a trusted adult, it could be training around mental health. I believe every teacher should have that, and it is being introduced at Moray House now which is excellent. It could be peer mentoring, a place to be, a whole host of things.

“By next year we are going to showcase what different schools have brought in to place. It is about having those early conversations, having trusted adults and relationships and managing that before it gets to a crisis point.”

Listen to our full podcast with Cllr Dickie here :