Watch: Active listening

We’ve all had the experience of trying to say something to someone who is not really listening to us.

Active listening

In this animation we show how we can engage in active listening by showing young people these verbal and non-verbal signs:


  • Eye contact, nodding and smiling
  • Leaning forward
  • Mirroring body language


  • Remembering what is said. A young person will appreciate your full attention and focus.
  • Reflecting back what you’ve heard. This shows the young person that you’ve understood the key points of what they’ve said.
  • Seeking clarification. If a young person has shared something that you don’t understand, ask them to explain what they mean. This is better than pretending you get something, which a young person will pick up on.
  • Summarising. Recap your conversation and any decisions you have reached together to ensure you are both on the same page.

>> Read more about supporting youth mental health 

What is bullying?

Unfortunately, being bullied is a relatively common experience. ‘Bullying’ means repeated actions with the intention of causing distress.

In a recent survey of over 19,000 young people in Ireland, 39% reported they had been bullied at some point. However, despite being something many of us go through, people often try to hide that they’re being bullied. This can make it even more isolating and distressing. Bullying is never acceptable.

In this article you will find:

What bullying is

Bullying can be obvious, like physical violence, verbal abuse, or humiliation. But there are also less visible versions of it, such as emotional bullying or exclusion.

Bullying could be any combination of these:

  • Verbal put downs
  • Embarrassing you
  • Exclusion
  • Damaging or stealing belongings
  • Racial abuse.

Bullying can be a very isolating experience and has a negative impact on our self-esteem.

Uninest name Jigsaw as their Charity Partner for 2020

We are so delighted to have been named as the charity partner for Uninest Student Residences for 2020.  The partnership is being launched today, Wednesday 29th January. 

Uninest provide the best living experiences for students in Cork and Dublin, offering stylish, secure and sociable student living. For more information, visit unineststudents.ie.

My first Pride with Jigsaw

We asked Victoria, a member of our Dublin 15 Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) to reflect on marching in Pride alongside Jigsaw this year. 

I have been attending the Pride Parade for the past few years. This year has been different for me because I had the opportunity to march in the parade, alongside Jigsaw. This was a great experience for me because it made me feel as if I am more involved in the community. I enjoyed decorating myself alongside everyone else who is marching, and I felt a solid sense of belonging. Being surrounded by people who are so enthusiastic about the event made it a very memorable day.

Why I support Pride

Attending Pride through the years has always been a good experience for me. It feels like the one day where everybody feels free to be themselves. The streets of Dublin are garnished with vibrant rainbow colors. Everyone is decorated and joyful. Most wonderfully, everyone is marching and supporting those of numerous sexualities. To me, it is most importantly a march that bolsters individuality.

The fact that an act had to be passed to allow people to be themselves has always been strange to me. In a perfect world, the matter would not need a political vote. In a perfect world, I believe that everyone should be who they are, with no questions asked. I believe that love is love. And I believe that love is fluid and cannot be contained in a box, which dictates who someone can and cannot love.

The parade is important to me because it is an amazing shift in the right direction. The fact of marching feels like a rebellion against old points of view. Countless great organisations and groups are marching through the streets to create a change. To show the world what they stand for. Being involved in the community, as well as simply having fun and being surrounded by like-minded people.

How is mental health and the Pride parade linked?

Being involved in the community is what I have wanted to do for a long time. Therefore, I am grateful for being a member of the organisation that is Jigsaw and being a member of the Youth Advisory Panel (YAP).

Having good mental health involves many things. Some of the factors include;

  • Being able to cope with the various demands of life
  • Feeling comfortable and happy in your own skin
  • Knowing how to get on with different people
  • Having a good attitude to life’s ups and downs
  • Having the ability to contribute to your community.

Jigsaw is an organisation set up to help young people in need of mental health. Believing that if resilience is built up at a young age, it will stick by the individual for a lifetime.

The parade is a great day out in celebration of mental health because it is a fun and colorful event. Everybody is there to embrace each other.

Those who may be part of the LGBTQ+ community, who might not feel understood every day are surrounded by people of the same nature. Not only that, they are surrounded by those who accept them for who they are. This is one day of the year that demonstrates the sheer amount of support that these people have.

When you can be yourself, your mental health is better as a whole. And when you are supported by so many different people, you feel accepted, which leads to happiness.

Attending the parade, you can feel proud of who you are and that can make you feel comfortable in your own skin.

Even if you are not a part of the LGBTQ+ community, it feels good to support those who may need it. And it feels good overall to stand up and march for what you believe in.