Saturday 24 March 2018

Jigsaw needs new premises to meet demand for services

John Manning

A VITAL support service for young people experiencing mental health issues in Balbriggan is appealing to the local civic and business community to help it find a new premises so that it can meet the demand on its services.

Some 300 young people have accessed direct mental health supports in Jigsaw North Fingal's, Balbriggan Hub. A further 1,800 young people have participated in a mental health literacy awareness programme.

Given this demand and need for the service, Jigsaw has already outgrown its existing premises in 25 Dublin Street and in order to continue fulfilling this need the project urgently requires a new Balbriggan town centre premises.

Speaking recently about the service, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr James Reilly said: 'When it comes to young people and the issue of mental health, it can be the case that a stitch in time saves nine.

'The work being undertaken by Jigsaw is invaluable. Countless young people have affirmed that their interaction with Jigsaw improved their sense of well-being thus avoiding a potential downward spiral.'

Minister Reilly added: 'The early intervention provided by Jigsaw is a tremendous benefit to a community.

As a service Jigsaw has gained the confidence of the young people in the areas where they work.

'Any town that is fortunate enough to have a Jigsaw facility should move to ensure its survival. In the case of Balbriggan I would encourage civic leaders and others to try and help Jigsaw to find the optimum location to continue doing its work.'

Armin Krautgasser, Project Manager for Jigsaw North Fingal said: 'In order to ensure maximum accessibility, we require a wheel chair accessible town centre location in Balbriggan.

'There are various empty premises for sale, but they are not for rent on the commercial market.'

The project manager added: 'Over the last two months, we have been looking into premises in Balbriggan.

'However, we have not been able to find a suitable premises in the area. We feel that we may have no option but to relocate our Hub to another area, such as Swords.

'We would be grateful if the community would help us find the ideal town centre location for the service in Balbriggan, instead.'

Fingal Independent