Ask Jigsaw: Anxious and nervous at school

I want to know why i can’t bring myself to want to go to school. i am a very social person at times and i don’t have any problems besides the few subjects but everyone has that problem. i feel very unmotivated, uncomfortable, anxious and extremely nervous at school. i was just brought home from school due to the fact i got sick because of the nervousness and anxiety. I want to be able to enjoy school but i don’t know how

-emily k

Hi emily k,

You are not on your own with this. We have heard from many young people who have started to experience anxiety as they start back to things like school and socialising. It’s great that you want to get back to enjoying school, and are looking for ways to do that.

Ask Jigsaw: Can’t phone for support

Hi, I am a college student, and think that I may suffer from anxiety, and have thought this for a few years. In recent months I think it has worsened. Is there any way to contact jigsaw without talking on the phone/over video call (E.g email/messaging) as I do not have enough privacy in the house to do so.


Hi there,

We are hearing from many young people who have found that anxiety has increased over the past few months, so you are not on your own. With so many people now going to college from their home we are aware that privacy can be an issue.


Ask Jigsaw: I need help again

I suffer very badly with anxiety and went to CAMHS for years as a child. I started college last year and found the change extremely tough and found that my anxiety had come back nearly worse then ever but I just used what I had learned when I was younger and tried to help myself the best I could, but since Covid and the whole lifestyle change I’ve found everything extremely overwhelming and feel I need help again and don’t know how to go about it ?!?

-The Happy Anxious 

Hi The Happy Anxious,

The transition from school to college is difficult for lots of young people. It’s a time of great change and the beginning of new challenges, so it’s understandable that you felt anxious around this time. It sounds like the impact of the pandemic has made coping with anxiety a lot tougher. It’s good to seek support when we’re feeling overwhelmed, so thanks for reaching out.

Ask Jigsaw: Constantly feeling anxious

Constantly feeling anxious in busy areas , school becoming a problem I can’t go to canteen by myself I have to meet friends first , a constant anxious feeling over me . 

– Layla104xx 

Hi Layla104xx,  

Feeling constantly anxious is exhausting. The physical sensations and spiraling thoughts, that often accompany anxiety, can be so strong that we avoid everyday things like school, or social events.   

Racism and mental health

Although Ireland is known for being friendly and welcoming, racism does happen here.

Too often in Jigsaw we hear from young people about the negative impact racism has on their mental health. We hear of experiences ranging from discrimination to physical violence. It’s important that we are aware of the impact of this and act to challenge racism when we can.

Jigsaw is part of the Irish Network Against Racism. We are committed to challenging racism and supporting young people who are affected by it.

Five a day for your mental health

Based on the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing‘ report 2008 by the New Economics Foundation (NEF), here are five things you can do daily for your mental health.

The UK Government commissioned the NEF to develop a simple set of evidence-based actions for people to improve their wellbeing. NEF drew on a very broad base of research for their recommendations, from psychological to economic literature.

Supporting the transition to secondary school

The transition to secondary school is a big milestone in a young person’s life. Although exciting, it can also throw up challenges. 

Young people have been in and out of school due to lockdowns. Experiences of school closures are varied, some young people have been relieved and others have really missed school.

Uncertainty about the future can influence a young person’s move to secondary school. Fortunately, as a parent, there is a lot you can do to support their mental health during this process.

Webinar: Supporting student anxiety

The last webinar in our series for teachers this term is about supporting student stress and anxiety. This is a recording of the webinar. It explores ways to recognise and understand anxiety and when it may become a problem. The speakers also look at whole-school approaches to anxiety, responding to individual student needs and recommended resources and support options.

Supporting student anxiety