Primary schools need counsellors, says head 18 July 2013
Counsellors are needed in primary schools to help teachers deal with children being prescribed anti-depressants and threatening self-harm,  experts say.
A Masterton primary school principal said teachers were not qualified to deal with pupils’ suicidal thoughts and having a trained counsellor on site daily, as is the case in secondary schools, would improve pupils’ self-worth and lead to fewer   exclusions.
Most pupils who were stood down and excluded from primary school had serious behavioural problems, Lakeview principal Ed Hodgkinson said.
“The longer you leave a child without support the more ingrained feelings of [low] self-worth become, which makes it harder to support that child further down the track.
“A social worker is based at Lakeview School but is contracted to do other work in the community.
“If we had someone with counselling skills here every day, it would be very beneficial for the children.”