Schools in the north-east are set to benefit from millions of pounds of funding as part of a scheme to provide dedicated counselling services to pupils.
The initiative will give secondary school pupils in Scotland access to a counsellor, if they require to do so, from September next year.
The Scottish Government announced the move after an agreement was reached with local authority body Cosla to allocate £60 million worth of funding over the next four years.
Aberdeen City Council is to receive around £1.7m in funding over the four years, made up of £350,000 in 2019-20, and £466,000 each year for the remaining three years.
Meanwhile, Aberdeenshire Council has been allocated just over £2.8m over the period, receiving £574,000 in the first year then £774,000 each year for the rest of the project.
It is expected the funding will help build or expand counselling services for youngsters across the country.
School counsellors will help support young people’s emotional, behavioural and mental health, with pupils having access to services during school holidays.
A spokeswoman for Aberdeenshire Council said: “We welcome this investment into mental health supports in our schools.
“This will enable us to build on existing supports and develop sustainable counselling provision for children and young people across Aberdeenshire.
“We are also developing a multi-agency training plan which will mean that anyone who comes into contact with children and young people as part of their job will have access to an appropriate level of mental health training.
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
“Mental health is a strategic priority for Aberdeenshire and is one of five priorities in our Children’s Services Plan.
“Aberdeenshire’s GIRFEC Mental Health Group brings together colleagues from social work, police, health, education and the third sector to ensure we have a robust multi-agency approach to tackling the issue.”
Aberdeen City Council’s educational operational delivery convener John Wheeler said he was pleased youngsters would have access to additional support.
He said: “I welcome this additional funding which will allow us to build on the significant investment we have already made in supporting children and young people across the city.”
Elsewhere in the north-east, Moray Council will recive just over £1m and Angus Council around £1.3m.
Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey said the action is a “significant step”.
She said: “Children and young people can face many issues growing up and must have the right support available at the right time.”.
“Providing every secondary school with access to at least one counsellor by next year is a significant step forward in our package of measures to improve the mental health support available for children and young people.”
The Scottish Government has said counselling services currently delivered by qualified and registered counsellors through Pupil Equity or Scottish Attainment funding will continue.
It follows after it was announced earlier this month that college and university students will benefit from a £20m investment in extra mental health counsellors.