Sinn Féin local education spokesperson Councillor Aileen Mellon has called on the Department of Education to work with other departments to deal with issues that cause stress, anxiety and poor mental health in young people. Aileen Mellon said: “Our teachers and schools are not only tasked with delivering high quality education, but also with safeguarding the physical and mental wellbeing of pupils.
“Recent research estimates that 45,000 of our children are struggling with mental health issues with the majority of these experiencing anxiety and stress.
“We know distress disproportionately impacts on children from less advantaged circumstances.
“The Children’s Co-operation Act compels all departments and agencies delivering children’s services to work together.
“The Department of Education is the lead department for delivering a children and young people’s strategy and I welcome the work they are undertaking with the Department for Health.
“The Department must also ensure it is working with the Department for Communities and the Department for Economy to address many of the issues that are causing so much anxiety and distress amongst our children and their families.”