Nova Scotia Commits $14 Million for School Counsellors, Mental Health Services

By Omand, Geordon | The Canadian Press, August 14, 2013 | Go to article overview

Nova Scotia Commits $14 Million for School Counsellors, Mental Health Services


Omand, Geordon, The Canadian Press


Nova Scotia ups school guidance counsellors

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HALIFAX - Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter is promising $14 million over the next three years to boost the number of guidance counsellors and improve youth mental health services in schools across the province.

Dexter made the announcement Wednesday after meeting with the Nova Scotia School Counsellors Association.

"Schools are about learning development, they are about academic achievement, but increasingly they are about the social development of our children," said Dexter.

"This recognizes the important components that go into that development."

About $9.4 million will go towards hiring mental health workers and youth health centre co-ordinators in schools.

The remaining $4.6 million will allow school boards to add 51 guidance counsellor positions, up from the 195 counsellors currently working in Nova Scotia schools.

Dexter said this will raise the ratio to one counsellor for every 500 students, fulfilling one of the key recommendations in a 2012 report from the Nova Scotia Task Force on Bullying and Cyberbullying.

"With declining enrolment over the next couple of years, we might actually be able to even have a higher ratio than announced today," said Education Minister Ramona Jennex.

Any kind of new money targeted for school counsellors is a step in the right direction, said Teri Cochrane, president of the Nova Scotia School Counsellor Association. …

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