Press Release

Minister Lynch announces Major New Youth Mental Health Service for Limerick

Kathleen Lynch, Minister for Mental Health, Social Care and Primary Care today announced a significant new mental health service for Limerick.

Jigsaw which is currently available in ten locations throughout the country will commence a new service in Limerick later this year.

Minister Lynch said “I am very pleased that we have been able to secure the Jigsaw service for Limerick. We know that research has shown that approx. 75% of mental disorders emerge before the age of 25. This is a critical period for children and young adults which can have a bearing on the rest of their lives. Young people experiencing anxiety, anger, stress, social isolation and depression can avail of up to 6 counselling sessions with Jigsaw. Early intervention is critical to mental health wellbeing.

This service has proven to be invaluable in other parts of the country and I have been keen to have it also established in Limerick. One of my key priorities for 2016 is to enhance and develop mental health services in primary care and in the community. This is a great example of how this can work and has come about as a result of the additional funds given to mental health in the budget for this year. This is the second new service for youth mental health that will be established in Limerick this year, along with additional mental health supports to Limerick Youth Service. It will greatly enhance the current services for young people. It will also dovetail well with the other services currently being provided by the HSE Mental Health team in the Mid-West.

Recruitment of a Project Manager for the Jigsaw project in Limerick will commence in February. Following this there will be engagement with young people, the HSE and Limerick City and County Council to secure a suitable premises as a base for the project. It is anticipated that Jigsaw Limerick will have approximately 1,500 face to face contacts with young people in a year.

Commenting on the development HSE Mid West Chief Officer Bernard Gloster said “this is a major boost to the health and wellbeing of teenagers and young adults in Limerick. Far too often we encounter people when they are in crisis, none more so than those who experience mental health pressures. Jigsaw is about ensuring young people have access to Youth Friendly health services. It is not just about professionals but also building capacity in communities to support young people and challenging all of us to become engaged in our young people’s wellbeing. With an annual investment in the region of €700,000 the necessary time, expertise and resources are being made available to make this happen and to bring to Limerick the learning and benefit of other Jigsaw projects around the Country. We cannot underestimate the importance of proactively supporting positive mental health for young people.

Dr Tony Bates, CEO Headstrong added, “We are delighted to bring Jigsaw to Limerick. Many people have worked to make this happen, not least Minister Lynch, who has been a real champion for youth mental health. I look forward to working with everyone concerned with the wellbeing of young people, and to establishing this innovative support service that we know works for them and for their families”.

Minister Lynch particularly thanked colleagues in the HSE and in Jigsaw for their intensive work in preparing the new service. “I would like to thank Bernard Gloster, Chief Officer for the Mid-West and his team in the HSE for enthusiastically embracing the opportunity of bringing Jigsaw to Limerick. They, along with Tony Bates and his colleagues in Jigsaw have dedicated considerable time and effort in order to make Jigsaw in Limerick a reality.

Ends

Additional Information:
Jigsaw is currently established in 10 communities in Ireland, Clondalkin, Donegal, Dublin 15, Galway, Kerry, Meath, North Fingal, Offaly, Roscommon and Tallaght. During 2016, three new services will open in Limerick, Cork and Dublin.

Ends