The Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said there has been a "wave of self harm" among school children since guidance counsellors were cut.
Mr Martin has asked the Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald in the Dáil when counsellors would be restored, following the cut introduced in Budget 2012.
Ms Fitzgerald says the matter will be discussed in relation to next year's budget.
Mr Martin says the issue has to be addressed.
He said: "If you talk to the institue of guidance counsellors, for example, they did an audit since then and they are saying that the current practice is quote 'a portrait of inequality'.
"One member described a wave of self harm amongst teenagers that would alarm any parent.
"And teachers who are expected to teach as well as be guidance counsellors said, quote, 'it's a bottomless pit, it's firefighting and you just do what you can'."