Tuesday 23 April 2019

Joy as Jigsaw mental health project confirmed

Mary Fogarty

Local stakeholders gathered in Bray on Friday to meet Minister Simon Harris and Jigsaw and to hear the much anticipated confirmation that Wicklow has been selected as a site of a new Jigsaw Youth Mental Health Project.

Minister Harris said that the next task is to pick the location. 'There's a brilliant committee here and it's really important that they are supported in picking the right location,' he said. 'You want to find a location that's accessible. Jigsaw premises are youth friendly and non-clinical in terms of aesthetic.

'The committee will be working hell for leather now with Jigsaw to locate an appropriate site. I think there's a number of them in Bray, including the old courthouse.

'Once they decide on a site, we'll do everything we can to help them secure it,' said Minister Harris.

Jigsaw is a network of programmes across Ireland designed to make sure every young person has somewhere to turn to and someone to talk to. The Jigsaw Model is a programme to promote change at both local and national level for the delivery and accessibility of mental health services. It supports young people based on best international practice and is aligned with A Vision for Change.

Jigsaw projects were mainly funded from philanthropy sources up to 2015, with some additional funding from Government. The HSE took over as the main source of funding from 2015. Jigsaw is currently delivered in 13 locations nationwide.

'We have worked together on this for a number of years and this preparatory work has been key to the decision to move ahead with Wicklow as the next location,' said Minister Harris. 'Jigsaw will make a fundamental difference to the lives of people in County Wicklow. Alongside the clinical, in-session work with young people, Jigsaw teams locally will work closely with schools, community groups, sports clubs and other local services to increase understanding about youth mental health, and where support is available to young people. Supported by a network of Youth Advisory Panels, Jigsaw's work in the community adopts a holistic approach aimed at informing, supporting, educating and empowering a wide of our communities, enabling a better understanding of our collective responsibility in supporting young people's mental health.'

Sinead Tuite, chair of the Bray Area Partnership Youth Mental Health Group, said that one of the key factors for the establishment of the service is the community and capacity building work done by volunteers, who are passionate about improving the lives and futures of current and future generations.

The Bray Youth Mental Health Network includes stakeholders from education, health and community sectors and has collectively been working for over six years, raising awareness of the importance of youth mental health and putting in place the building blocks of 'community readiness'.

'With a youth-led approach from Be Well Bray, an inspirational group of local young people, we have been able to listen, to understand, to educate and to advocate for change,' said Sinead. 'This announcement is a testament to the hard-work of those who have and will continue to work with and on behalf of the young, giving them the skills and supports to ensure they have every opportunity for a best possible future.'

Jigsaw CEO, Dr Joseph Duffy, said that they are committed to a vision of an Ireland where every young person's mental health is valued and supported.

'County Wicklow has long been on our radar, and thanks to the collective efforts of members of the local communities, elected representatives and others, we are delighted to officially commence work on establishing Jigsaw Wicklow,' he said.

'This announcement would not be possible without the support of Government and our key partner, the HSE.'

Bray People