Emotional Health and Wellbeing

Advice and guidance on emotional health and wellbeing

Children & Young People’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing in Education Framework

The Children & Young People’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing in Education Framework was launched on 26 February 2021.

The main emphasis of the Framework is to support educational settings to promote emotional health and wellbeing at a universal level, through a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach, and providing early and enhanced support for those children and young people who may be at risk or showing signs of needing further help. 

The Education Framework is aligned to the new Health & Social Care Board/Public Health Agency ‘Children & Young Peoples’ Emotional Health & Wellbeing Services Framework’. Both Frameworks present an opportunity to join services together in a way that improves access and delivers a more positive experience of services for the benefit of children and young people and their families and as such are complementary.

An initial implementation plan has been developed and is based on priorities identified by the Department of Education and its partners in the Emotional Health and Wellbeing in Education Framework.


A new Text-a-Nurse service has been launched to provide young people with a secure and confidential text messaging service to a school nurse for advice and support.

The service is aimed at 11 to 19 year olds and will be delivered by the School Nursing Teams.

Text-a-Nurse Phase 2

From 20 February 2023, school nursing teams will move to Phase 2, offering advice and support about post-primary pupils’ health, via the confidential messaging service, to parents/carers and school staff.

iMatter Programme

iMatter homework diary inserts, posters and leaflets

The “iMatter” programme is intended to support the entire school community to be engaged in promoting resilient emotional health for all pupils.  Under this programme a suite of homework diary inserts, leaflets and posters on topics of concern to young people such as self esteem, substance abuse and coping with stress, worry and anxiety, are distributed to post-primary schools, and available at the links below.  The resources are designed for young people and provide hints and tips on coping with emotional issues. They include useful telephone numbers, websites and details of organisations that can provide assistance for particular problems.

 All materials are available in English and Irish with posters available in Polish, Spanish, and French. The topics will be made available in other languages upon request. 

New DE self-assessment audit tool for schools

There is considerable national and international research about the benefits of supporting emotional health and wellbeing in children and young people in school and the resulting positive impact on performance, attainment and behaviours.

In recognition of this and as a further development under the Department’s I-Matter Programme, Guidance (Circular 2018/07) has recently issued to schools announcing the launch of a new self-assessment audit tool to support school development planning in the area of emotional health and well-being.

The audit tool will support schools in assessing how their current processes support the development, implementation and on-going refinement of a whole school approach to the promotion of emotional health and wellbeing.

The main aim of the audit tool is to assist schools to:

  • audit their practice across the full range of activities within the school;
  • evaluate their practice and identify how they might improve and what further practice could/should be introduced;
  • prepare a plan, as part of school development planning which sets out   how pupils’ emotional health and wellbeing will be promoted and how the effectiveness of the plan will be evaluated; and
  • consider the progress they are making to implement their plan.

Circular 2018/07 which provides full information about the audit tool and its use by schools can be viewed at:

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