With Jigsaw, there is no problem too small
Jigsaw provides a broad, accessible service to young people aged 12 -25 years. The breadth of our service is reﬂective of the large variation in issues and pressures facing young people in Ireland today.
’There’s no problem too small’ is an important feature of our ethos in creating a safe space for young people to access support. There is no minimum threshold of distress a young person must cross in order to access help in Jigsaw.
We believe this is incredibly important as it allows us to convey to young people that no matter what their issue they will not be judged or dismissed, it also facilitates the early identiﬁcation of mental health issues.
A big challenge for us as a country is to encourage young people to seek help before they reach crisis point, and before their difficulties become entrenched. Jigsaw is part of a movement which looks to empower young people to seek help for things that, often times, their own parents would not have dared to seek help for in the recent past.
That’s why it’s critical that Jigsaw is a warm and welcoming space. These might not be qualities we traditionally associated with mental health services in the past, but these are some of the key ingredients of Jigsaw’s success.
The anonymous feedback we have received from hundreds of young people who have used our service frequently highlights the importance of being met with a friendly face, a welcoming smile and a warm, inviting space.
Why Jigsaw is the answer
The high demand for the Jigsaw service in each of the 10 communities it serves is testament to the need for an accessible, developmentally appropriate youth mental health service designed in partnership with young people.
Jigsaw offers a robust primary care mental health service to young people who do not meet the criteria for specialist mental health services, but need support that is responsive and easy to access.
There is no need for a professional referral to Jigsaw and we work hard to make sure that we offer young people an appointment within a matter of weeks of them making contact with us.
We work alongside other organisations and young people in the community as we believe that the key to creating communities which support young peoples’ mental health lies in the cooperation, collaboration and creative efforts between those stakeholders.
Building understanding and knowledge in communities
Jigsaw offers a brief therapeutic support service to young people to help them to cope with the challenges they face. One of the unique things about Jigsaw however is that it has a lot to offer the community in addition to these individual supports.
In our experience, young people experience mental health difficulties for many reasons, and their mental health distress is not simply located in the individual young person.
We believe that young people are rooted in wider systems such as families, communities, schools, neighbourhoods and peer groups. So in Jigsaw we seek to strengthen these networks around young people through capacity building workshops and community engagement.
Not every young person needs to come into a service like Jigsaw, but every young person beneﬁts from interacting with an adult in their life who is conﬁdent in their ability to listen, to provide encouragement and be their One Good Adult®.
All our workshops focus on building more compassionate communities – communities of people who have basic mental health literacy and can ‘be there’ for all our young people.
A safe and supportive environment
Whilst it’s important that a young person experiences Jigsaw as a relaxed, informal environment, behind the scenes our governance structures and processes are robust and clear.
Our clinical teams are comprised of qualiﬁed clinical, counselling, and educational psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses and occupational therapists. Regular clinical supervision, training and professional development opportunities ensure that our work with young people is safe, effective and of a consistently high standard.
We are committed to continuously improving and reﬁning the service we provide and seek feedback from young people and our Youth Advisory Panel on an ongoing basis.
Put very simply, we know Jigsaw works.
Our outcome measures show us that young people who attend Jigsaw report signiﬁcantly reduced levels of psychological distress at the end of their Jigsaw sessions. Over 90% of young people who completed our Jigsaw Satisfaction Survey told us that they received the support they needed from Jigsaw, and 95% of them also said when asked that that they would recommend Jigsaw to a friend. Our workshops and training events in the community are consistently rated highly by those who attend and are successful in increasing attendees’ conﬁdence and competence in relation to supporting young peoples’ mental health.