Strengthening Communities

Increasing awareness Improving collaboration Building confidence and competence Supporter profile

In Jigsaw we work closely with communities to kick-start conversations, encourage understanding and increase knowledge about youth mental health.

Jigsaw - Annual Report 2018

Increasing awareness and enhancing mental health literacy

Jigsaw’s objective is to increase awareness of the collective role of communities in supporting young people’s mental health and enhance the mental health literacy of the entire population, with an aim over the lifetime of our strategy to:

  • Develop a new framework for our work in strengthening communities

Jigsaw undertook a comprehensive consultation with staff and our youth advisory panel in 2017 as part of the development of our strategic plan. These consultations identified a need for a new framework to support the delivery of the key strategic priority of strengthening communities.

Work began on the framework in 2018. It aims to:

  • provide a more complete picture of our work in communities
  • enable us to better describe our work
  • measure the outcomes that result more systematically and effectively

The framework begins with our vision of an Ireland where every young person’s mental health is valued and supported. We strive to progress this vision by strengthening communities around young people in order to contribute to supportive environments that nurture and value young people and their mental health.

The framework recognises how our work will aim to deliver on:

  • increased mental health literacy for young people and significant adults in their lives
  • increased confidence and perceived competence to positively influence young people’s mental health for those who connect, work and volunteer with young people
  • a more integrated system of mental health support for young people

Work to deliver on the framework will be ongoing throughout 2019.

Improving collaboration and partnerships

Jigsaw’s objective is to build the confidence and competence of young people, their families, communities and others to support young people’s mental health. We achieve this across our programmes in schools, clubs and communities with a number of aims over the lifetime of our strategy and beyond to:

  • further enhance and establish local, regional and national relationships with, and participation in, relevant committees, structures and fora
  • establish one pilot site of fuller integration with other mental health services (e.g. joint triage, shared care elements etc.) by June 2019
  • establish agreed standard operating procedures with other mental health services (e.g. Adult Mental Health Services etc.) by December 2019

In 2018 Jigsaw looked to deliver on these aims through a range of activities. Jigsaw continued to actively build on relationships and work closely with our partners, led by the HSE and county councils, who contribute to the resources required in running our local services. These local partnerships are vital for the continued delivery of our services.

Jigsaw continues to be actively involved in the implementation of the Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures - National Policy Framework for Children and Young People (2014-2020) through participation in the Children and Young People’s Service Committees (CYPSCs).

Our partnerships in various local programmes continues to grow and go well. As part of our Peer Education programme we work with schools across Clondalkin, Tallaght, Dublin 15, Offaly, and North Fingal. We continue to deliver our Read Your Mind programme of bibliotherapy in partnership with libraries and local councils across Clondalkin, Tallaght, Offaly and Donegal.

Building confidence and competence within communities

Jigsaw’s objective is to build the confidence and competence of young people, their families, communities and others to support young people’s mental health, with a number of aims over the lifetime of our strategy and beyond to:

  • build on existing programmes, further develop and implement a nationwide strategy for education and training
  • develop an integrated and consistent approach to our work with second level education
  • develop an integrated and consistent approach to our work with third level education
  • influence the training and development of future professionals in youth mental health by working together with third level institutions

In 2018 Jigsaw looked to deliver on these aims through a range of activities and events, including:

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

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

Education and Training
Building on our range of specialist education and training programmes has been a key part of our work in local communities in 2018. Our workshops have a number of aims including to raise awareness, increase help-seeking, and encourage conversations about young people’s mental health.

During 2018 we delivered workshops to over 27,000 people across Ireland including parents and guardians, teachers, GPs, youth leaders and young people. An increase on the 2017 figure of almost 4,000 people.

Based on data from the number of workshops delivered in the previous year, for 2018 we set a KPI of delivering a total of 1031 workshops. We achieved our KPI and more, managing to deliver a total of 1051 workshops.

Evaluation of the programme continues to show a significant increase in attendees’ mental health knowledge and beliefs about help-seeking, with overall findings suggesting that participation in the programme was beneficial.

In 2018, 103 participants attended the Supporting the Mental Health of LGBT Young People workshops, co-developed and co-delivered with BeLonGTo Youth Services. These workshops took place in Cork, Roscommon, Dublin, Limerick, Donegal and Offaly.

The evaluation of these workshops demonstrated that the workshop significantly improved participants’ understanding of Jigsaw and BeLonGTo, minority stress, LGBT language/terminology, LGBT youth mental health needs, and the impact of the social environment on LGBT youth mental health.

Our continued collaboration with HSE Health Promotion & Improvement (Health & Wellbeing Division) enables us to co-deliver our workshops in geographical areas where we currently don’t have a Jigsaw service. In 2018, this included Tipperary, Wicklow, Wexford, Kilkenny, Kildare, Westmeath, Waterford, Laois and Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown. The following numbers of workshops were delivered to a broad range of participants who work and/or volunteer with young people:

  • 20 Introduction to Youth Mental Health workshops with 336 participants
  • Eight Minding Youth Mental Health workshops with 109 participants

Workshop and attendee numbers for 2018

Understanding youth mental health

No. of workshops delivered - 34
% of workshops delivered against KPI target - 71%
No. of attendees across workshops - 507
% of workshop attendees achieved against KPI target - 67%

Minding youth mental health

No. of workshops delivered - 15
% of workshops delivered against KPI target - 60%
No. of attendees across workshops - 199
% of workshop attendees achieved against KPI target - 50%

Supporting the mental health of LGBT young people

No. of workshops delivered - 3
% of workshops delivered against KPI target -
No. of attendees across workshops - 58
% of workshop attendees achieved against KPI target -

Supporting young people's mental health

No. of workshops delivered - 100
% of workshops delivered against KPI target - 95%
No. of attendees across workshops - 2,368
% of workshop attendees achieved against KPI target - 155%

It's time to start talking

No. of workshops delivered - 640
% of workshops delivered against KPI target - 112%
No. of attendees across workshops - 18,787
% of workshop attendees achieved against KPI target - 121%

My mental health: What helps
(Young adult workshops - informal settings)

No. of workshops delivered - 114
% of workshops delivered against KPI target - 146%
No. of attendees across workshops - 2,235
% of workshop attendees achieved against KPI target - 187%

5-A-Day for mental health
(Young adult workshops - third level settings)

No. of workshops delivered - 25
% of workshops delivered against KPI target - 42%
No. of attendees across workshops - 877
% of workshop attendees achieved against KPI target - 74%

Self-care for One Good Adult©

No. of workshops delivered - 84
% of workshops delivered against KPI target - 109%
No. of attendees across workshops - 2,244
% of workshop attendees achieved against KPI target - 196%

One Good Coach™

No. of workshops delivered - 39
% of workshops delivered against KPI target - 58%
No. of attendees across workshops - 570
% of workshop attendees achieved against KPI target - 65%

If anyone I know needed someone to talk to, I would recommend Jigsaw.

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

Jigsaw’s One Good School™
As part of Jigsaw’s plans for an integrated and consistent approach to our work with second level education, 2018 saw the initial planning and development of Jigsaw’s innovative One Good School initiative. The initiative aims to support the mental health and wellbeing of young people by developing a shared responsibility for mental health across the whole school community.

Jigsaw knows that schools can play a vital role in promoting and supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people and all those within the school community. Fostering healthy relationships among peers, school staff and parents is critical to a young person’s overall experience of school and their social, emotional and cognitive development.

In the past ten years or more, there has been a growing level of attention on the importance of promoting and supporting mental health and wellbeing in schools. The government has published a number of key national policy documents which identify schools as critical settings for contributing to student health and wellbeing.

In developing Jigsaw’s One Good School, we are looking to implement a more structured, systematic and programmatic approach at a local level; an approach that supports all areas of the school setting and creates capacity to be reflective and responsive to the needs of the school and the individuals who are part of the school community.

Supporter profile: Sean O’Rourke

Meath man Sean O’Rourke is manager and committee member of Trim Celtic FC and currently trains the under-12s.

He played football for 25 years before becoming involved in coaching and signed up with the Jigsaw One Good Coach™ initiative in 2013 because he felt that his job was about more than promoting physical fitness among young people.

‘Jigsaw got in touch with the club about getting involved in the One Good Coach initiative and four or five of us got on board. Mental health is so important, there are huge issues in these kids’ lives - and it’s all ages, not just 15-year-olds. Younger kids are also under huge pressures too.’

‘In the space of a few months, I’ve seen three or four kids whose parents have separated and one boy lost his father aged 11. They need so much support, so it’s great if we can help them.’

Sean, father of two boys Aaron, 12, and Jesse, 10, and a daughter Lucy, 7, with his partner Maria Cosgrave, says he is much more aware of mental health issues and how they aect children since he became involved with the Jigsaw One Good Coach initiative.

‘Sports skills are important, of course they are, but there is a lot more,’ he explains. ‘The kids are under huge pressure to win, but I try to teach them that it’s also about training together, making friends, just having time out to forget about all the pressures - to take that hour of training and just enjoy it.’

Being a coach puts Sean and others like him in a great position to offer support. Young people who may be reluctant to share often find that being part of a club or team helps them to share their troubles.

The Jigsaw workshops teach coaches to have a greater understanding of mental health, and to understand their role in the young person’s life, as well as promoting and supporting young people’s mental health as a coach.

There can also be drug or alcohol problems in the community, which put vulnerable young people under even more pressure.

‘Upskilling is part of coaching - I played for 25 years and then went into coaching. I have done lots of courses along the way and there’s loads of information out there - but the important thing is to know how to relate to the kids, to be there for them if they need it.’

‘It’s about being there, being aware of what they need, making sure they feel at home. Sometimes they get to an age where their confidence goes, they have started secondary school, for example, and their behaviour becomes more erratic. There are always reasons for this and we need to look out for them. We need to be extra sensitive to their emotional needs.'

‘Information is power. The more we know, the more we can help. And if it helps one child, then it’s worth it.’

It’s about being there, being aware of what they need, making sure they feel at home.

Sean O’Rourke, Jigsaw Supporter