Nova Scotia

More guidance counsellors coming to N.S. schools

The Nova Scotia government plans to spend $14 million over the next three years to hire more guidance counsellors and mental health professionals in schools.

Aim is to have 1 guidance counsellor for every 500 students

Nova Scotia wants one guidance counsellor for every 500 students in schools.

The Nova Scotia government plans to spend $14 million over the next three years to hire more guidance counsellors and mental health professionals in schools.

Education Minister Ramona Jennex made the announcement on Wednesday with Premier Darrell Dexter.

Less than half the schools in the province have a full-time guidance counsellor. The first new hires will be in place for the 2014 school year.

Two-thirds of the new funding will be used to hire social workers, mental health nurses and psychologists as well as adding high schools with internal teen health centres.

The province said it aims to have one guidance counsellor for every 500 students.

Jennex said adding more people to help teachers and families cope was one of the key recommendations from the province’s task force on bullying.

"As we’ve announced today, we will be able to plan to include more guidance counsellors in our system, another 51 positions," she said.

"That is going to be very helpful. There might not be a full time [counsellor] in our small rural schools, but they will have access to a guidance counsellor who will be able to work in the school system."

There are now 195 guidance counsellors in the province.

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