SCOTTISH colleges are being handed a £4.4 million funding package to support the mental health of students.

The move is the latest in a series of investments by the Scottish Government through the Scottish Funding Council (SFC).

The SFC package gives guidance on how colleges should spend the cash.

The funds are to help develop the role of mental health co-ordinators, and can also be used for more student-led services, the creation of a mental health nightline and more wellbeing support for college staff.

Higher and Further Education Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “We know that the move to blended learning and significant reduction in face-to-face learning over the last year has been especially challenging for our college students.

“Our funding of £4.4m, supported by the guidance published, builds on significant Scottish Government investment already made in this area and will enable colleges to develop mental health and resilience packages that are most appropriate to the needs of their communities.”

Previous cash support includes more than £11m in discretionary funds made available for additional financial support last summer.