Minister for Health Simon Harris TD and Minister for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly TD welcomed the commitment to open two new youth mental health services in Wicklow and in Tipperary.
The Jigsaw projects have been approved as part of the significant new funding provided by Government to enhance all aspects of mental health services arising from Budget 2019.
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. It supports young people based on best international practice and is aligned with A Vision for Change.
Welcoming the announcement, Minister Harris said: “We are committed to providing better access to youth mental health services and these two centres are important additions to the current service.
“This is a fantastic resource. I have visited Jigsaw projects in other locations and I each time I have been blown away by their success and the level of youth buy-in.”
Minister Daly added: “The expansion of Jigsaw is most welcome and is in line with our aim to improve early intervention mental health services to help reduce patients needs escalating to specialist services such as CAMHS.”
The HSE is the main funder of 13 locations nationally, providing in the region of €12m to Jigsaw at present. Existing locations are Donegal, Galway, Roscommon, Offaly, Kerry, Meath, North Fingal, Dublin 15, Tallaght and Clondalkin, Limerick, Cork and Dublin city. Between 2008 and 2016, around 16,000 young people attended Jigsaw.
The HSE recently completed a review of Jigsaw services nationally, which supported this model of care and helped inform the decision to expand this service further. This decision is in line with the aims of Connecting for Life 2015-2020 (Action Plan for Suicide Prevention) and with the Youth Mental Health Task Force Report 2017.
On the basis of agreed criteria, a new Jigsaw service will be opened in Wicklow. A plan will now be put in place by Jigsaw with the aim of opening this service towards the end of 2019. The elements to this plan will include
· Engagement with the local stakeholders
· Securing and fitting out an appropriate premises in a location accessible for young people
· Planning for recruitment and induction of the staff team required for this new service.
Tipperary has also been agreed as a Jigsaw location. A plan will now be put in place by Jigsaw with the aim of opening the new service in early part of 2020. The planning process will include the same elements outlined above for Wicklow, but will, given the geography of Tipperary, involve careful selection of location(s) to best service the full county.