Northern Ireland news

£5 million funding for emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people in NI

Michelle McIlveen set out details of the funding during a visit to Belfast Boys’ Model School. Picture by Michael Cooper

A FURTHER £5 million has been allocated to support the emotional health and wellbeing of young people.

Education Minister Michelle McIlveen said she hoped the money for the Wellbeing Fund would enable education settings to enhance or implement new initiatives with a "focus on adjusting to the world as impacted upon by Covid-19".

The assistance will be provided to schools and education other than at school (EOTAS) and youth settings.

Speaking during a visit to Belfast Boys’ Model School, she said: "There is a growing body of evidence, which highlights that the adolescence and young adult years are peak periods for the first onset of mental illness.

"And the experience of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has further exacerbated this situation."

The funding will give settings flexibility to provide additional support to meet young people's needs.

"This will enable education settings to enhance existing wellbeing programmes and/or implement new and innovative wellbeing initiatives that support pupils and/or staff and have a focus on adjusting to the world as impacted upon by Covid-19," Ms McIlveen added.

She said the funding could "provide various types of interventions including stress-busting activities, emotional support, sports activities and equipment, wellbeing games and books and materials".

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