03/09/2015 05:55 EDT | Updated 05/09/2015 05:59 EDT

Newfoundland education group wants mental health and addiction help in schools

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils is calling for mental health and addictions counsellors in schools.

A proposal currently before the provincial government, would see one specialist for every 500 students.

Executive director Denise Pike says between September and March 1 the council office received 166 calls from people looking for services for students who are battling mental health and addiction issues.

Pike says parents don't know who to call to get help for their child.

She says there are guidance counsellors in schools, but they are over worked.

Pike says while it's a bad year to be asking the government for anything given the current fiscal realities facing the province, she believes the money would be well spent. (VOCM)