Messages 2018 at a glance We are Jigsaw Company information

Once more, our annual report shows the very real impact Jigsaw has on transforming the lives of Ireland’s young people for the better.

Dr Patricia O’Hara, Chairperson.


Message from Dr Patricia O’Hara,

Since our foundation, Jigsaw has focused on prevention and early intervention, aimed at identifying mental health issues before they become more serious, and at assisting young people in developing skills and resilience that will equip them to deal with future challenges.

Our primary service users are young people aged 12-25. We offer free, accessible, confidential and impactful clinical supports to these young people through 13 Jigsaw services across the country. To date we have supported over 28,000 young people.

We believe strongly in helping and empowering adults - parents, teachers, other professionals working with young people, sports coaches and more - to be there for the young people in their lives. To date we have supported and trained over 200,000 adults in various settings.

All of this is built on the professionalism, dedication and commitment of the staff, volunteers and supporters that make up the Jigsaw team, of which the board and I are hugely proud. Our bold ambition is to create an Ireland where every young person’s mental health is valued and supported. And with the energy, generosity of spirit, and passion of all those who make up the Jigsaw team I am confident that we can succeed.

At the heart of everything we do are the needs and hopes of the thousands of young people who are struggling with their mental health. Their words tell us that what we do is valuable and life-changing.

Jigsaw has helped me to deal better with my anxiety and panic attacks.

They helped me to get access to the right support for my problems, keeping in touch until they knew I was linked in properly with the best service for me.

Jigsaw gave me the tools to help me understand my anxiety and keep it under control. It was such a great outlet for venting and making sense of my feelings and problems. Thank you!.

The board of Jigsaw takes its governance responsibilities very seriously and continually strives for excellence. Indeed, Jigsaw has been an award winner in 2016, and a finalist in 2018, in the Good Governance Awards for charities. We have also achieved Triple Lock Status from the Charities Institute Ireland. In 2018, Jigsaw began to work towards achieving the externally accredited Trusted Charity Mark. We are strongly committed to delivering best practice in all our activities.

Finally, a personal thank you to our dedicated staff, our generous supporters and the many volunteers who make all this possible. Our board and sub-committee members, advisory groups and youth advisory panels generously give their time and expertise to help guide what we do. It is a privilege to work with so many gifted and committed people.

Dr Patricia O’Hara

Message from Dr. Joseph Duffy, Chief Executive Officer

We all know that adolescence is a time of huge change and upheaval. The journey from child to adult is complex and challenging, and for many young people that journey can be tough to handle.

Previous research by Jigsaw has shown that a third of Ireland’s young people have experienced mental health difficulties. Our evidence, and our experience of working with young people, tells us that many across Ireland struggle daily with anxiety, low mood, stress and isolation.

The term ‘mental health’ encompasses so much - our day to day wellbeing and resilience as well as our moments of greatest distress and pain. It includes unusual experiences, but also the most commonplace of adversity; loneliness, problems in our relationships, sadness, worry, the impact of social problems, and not feeling good enough. Challenges to our mental health can persist for many years, be transitory, or ebb and flow over time.

The young people we see tell us about how they often feel under tremendous pressure to succeed and excel at school, at home, on the sports ground and in social groups. Jigsaw supports thousands of young people across Ireland every year through our community-based youth mental health services, through our work educating parents, teachers and young people, and through our information and guidance at

In Jigsaw we believe in intervening early, offering a therapeutic service to young people at primary care level. We also believe in listening to each young person’s judgement of their own needs, hence we have a service with no ‘lower threshold’. We aim to construct an understanding of what is happening in a young person’s life with them, rather than solely through the objective assessment of the clinician as the mental health ‘expert’.

This collaborative approach creates a joint understanding of the difficulties developed by the young person and the professional together, and facilitates a way towards managing and resolving the difficulties at play. We see this as a central principle of our work and believe that it contributes to better outcomes for young people.

Since we were founded in 2006, we have continued to invest and innovate to grow our range of services and supports. These are tested, evaluated, and proven to make a real meaningful difference to the mental health of Ireland's young people. When I think about what we do in Jigsaw and why we do it, a recent comment we received from a parent whose daughter came to one of our services comes to mind. She said, ‘My daughter found a place where she was being listened to and where all her feelings were respected. She felt safe, understood and supported.’

Young people want to feel listened to and respected. They need a place where someone is working with them to understand and share their feelings without judgement. The power and value of this can be huge.

And when you can combine evidence-based programmes on the one hand with real respect for young people on the other, it does become possible, little by little, to change lives. And to restore hope.

In 2017, we sought to put that all together in the development of our new strategy for the next three years (2018-2020). We want to expand the reach of our services and supports, increase and strengthen the involvement of communities across Ireland to help drive the change in how we as a country support young people’s mental health, and use our influence to advocate for better mental health supports for young people.

Our ambition is for an Ireland where every young person’s mental health is valued and supported.

We have spent the last year rolling out our new strategy, an approach that will enable us to ensure that more young people will have access to the mental health services and supports they truly deserve.

We know it’s ambitious. But it’s thanks to you that we can make this ambition a reality. Thank you to our volunteers, supporters, partners, professionals and employees for all that you have done to give young people the support they need in 2018, and for the difference we will continue to make together in the coming year.

Dr Joseph Duffy
Chief Executive Officer

Message from Rachel White, Youth Advisory Panel

2018 saw the introduction of John and Reidín as our new youth participation team. The creation of the team and their continued support is just one example of how much Jigsaw values young people’s voices.

A main highlight for me this year has been the Think Tank they organized, providing an opportunity to explore what youth participation means to Jigsaw and plan for the future.

Being from Donegal it can sometimes be difficult to feel connected to the national office down in Dublin. This event though really made me feel like part of something bigger, being able to share my opinions direct to the team and everyone else was eye-opening. I thought I understood youth participation, but the Think Tank made me realise just how integral my voice as a young person is to everything Jigsaw does. It showed the respect and appreciation that Jigsaw has for all our youth volunteers.

I’m incredibly proud to be a part of Jigsaw. It’s made me realise that I want to continue to work as a volunteer in the future. Using my place on the youth advisory panel means I can help to represent the other young people of Donegal and even Ireland as a whole.

As someone who’s used Jigsaw’s service in the past, it’s obvious how much young people have been involved in its development. It’s such a cosy, open place where I knew I wouldn’t be judged. It felt like Jigsaw really understood what it was like to be young. From Emma (our lovely Donegal receptionist) and her warm smile as you open the door, to the calming cup of tea, to the relaxed atmosphere of the session rooms. It’s only through youth participation that this could be achieved.

Rachel White
Jigsaw Youth Advisory Panel

In Jigsaw, we aren’t just a token, we are part of it all. From sitting on interview panels to helping make huge decisions in how Jigsaw works

Rachel White, Jigsaw Youth Advisory Panel

2018 at a glance

In 2018...

How we raise our money:

Donations and legacies – 19%
Charitable activities – 81%
(Including funding from the HSE and others)

How we spend our money:

Raising funds – 3%
Charitable activities – 97%
(i.e. Jigsaw services and supports)


We delivered workshops to over 27,000 people across Ireland including parents and guardians, teachers, GPs, youth leaders and young people. Our workshops have a number of aims including to raise awareness, increase help-seeking, and encourage conversations about young people’s mental health.


6,356 young people were supported directly and indirectly by our services. This was a 45% increase on 2017 (4,387 young people).


71% of 17-25 year olds who came to our services for a brief intervention saw a reliable reduction in their psychological distress.

Jigsaw has helped me in ways I didn’t know were possible. I feel like a new stronger person

A quote from a young person who attended Jigsaw for support with their mental health

We are Jigsaw.

We passionately believe that with your help we can bring about an Ireland where every young person’s mental health is valued and supported.

Who we are

We are supporters, professionals, and volunteers who together are committed to improving young people’s mental health. We want to develop supportive communities in which young people are able to talk about their mental health safe in the knowledge that they will be heard and get the support they need.

What we do

We work with communities to start conversations, encourage understanding and increase knowledge about youth mental health. We engage with policy makers and politicians to inform their decisions and advocate for better mental health supports for young people.

Our Jigsaw services are a free mental health support for young people aged 12-25 situated in the heart of local communities across Ireland.

They provide a range of supports, including therapeutic work with young people and their parents, as well as a comprehensive programme of education and training designed to increase the mental health literacy of young people, parents, school teachers, health and social care professionals, and volunteers.

Company information

Name: National Centre for Youth Mental Health - Republic of Ireland
Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG). Trading as Jigsaw

Registered Office: 16 Westland Square, Pearse Street, Dublin 2

Company Registration No: 421016
Revenue Charity No: CHY17439
Registered Charity No: 20064846
Bankers: Bank of Ireland plc.
Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2

Auditors: GBW
Statutory Auditor
Westmoreland House,
Westmoreland Park,
Ranelagh, Dublin 6.

Solicitors: Eversheds Sutherland
One Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2

Arthur Cox
Ten Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2

Board of Directors:
Dr. Patricia O'Hara, Chair
Dr. Jacinta Stewart, Vice Chair
Jennifer O’Sullivan
Eamonn Gaffney
Aoife Geraghty
Dr. Martina Moloney
Mary Cunningham
Dr. Justin Brophy
Noel Mulvihill
Brian Geoghegan
Martin Scully

Company Secretary:
Blanaid Cleary