SFC news published since 2018. See SFC archived content for earlier news articles.

The Scottish Funding Council has today announced the allocation of £4.2 million of funding for mental health counselling services in colleges and universities.

Today’s allocation is part of a four-year programme which began in 2019 to provide more than 80 additional counsellors in further and higher education. The latest allocation is addressing the issue of equity of access for college and university students to counselling services.

After extensive consultation with Colleges Scotland and other stakeholders today’s announcement sees £2.4 million being invested in colleges and £1.8 million going to universities. The division of funding protects the current provision of university counselling services.

Higher and Further Education Minister Jamie Hepburn said:

“We know this has been an extremely challenging period which has impacted on the mental health and well-being of our university and college students.

“To ensure our students have the right support in place we are investing £4.2 million for mental health and counselling services which includes an increased allocation of £2.4 million for colleges to address equity of access to counsellors. We are determined to introduce an additional eighty counsellors in colleges and universities over a four year period and are now two thirds of the way to achieving that.”

James Dunphy, Director of Access, Learning and Outcomes at the Scottish Funding Council, said:

“All students should have the same ability to access counselling services, regardless of whether they study online or in person, at a college or a university. Today’s funding allocation recognises that positive mental health is fundamental to the ability of every student to make the most of their education experience and secure their goals.

“In addition to the significant investments made in student mental health during the pandemic, this investment will have real benefits in ensuring a level playing field for all those needing counselling support.”