Children as young as six are struggling with suicidal thoughts, according to a new survey.
The study looks at the need for a counselling service in primary schools.
The survey of primary school teachers revealed serious mental health issues among children aged under 13.
DCU researchers have found serious mental health issues like self-harm are increasingly common in younger children.
The report concludes that teachers are ill-equipped to respond to students in distress and that family issues and relationship breakdowns were the most common causes of mental health problems among children.
Dr Rosaleen McElvaney, who compiled the report, says studies in the UK point to the benefits of counselling.
"For every £1 spent on one-to-one counselling at primary school level, it's a return to society of over £6 in the longer term, in terms of better job prospects, criminality, so very much at that preventative level," she said.
- Digital Desk