Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (459, 460)

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

459. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to increase the numbers of counselling psychologists at third level; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32157/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

460. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on the implementation of a peer-led support programme to assist students experiencing mental health issues in third level institutions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32158/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 459 and 460 together.

All higher education institutions (HEIs) are required to put in place appropriate student services, and the provision of appropriate services to students experiencing mental health issues would be included in that. As part of these services, all HEIs need to consider what is most appropriate in their HEI, or students particular context, while also considering best practice models such as peer-led support programmes and seeking to liaise with external services to the fullest extent possible.

My Department allocates recurrent funding to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) for direct disbursement to their designated higher education institutions. The HEA allocates this funding as a block grant to the institutions, and as autonomous bodies, the internal disbursement of this funding, including the funding of student services, is a matter for the individual institution.