Supporting migrants from war-torn areas

Hearing stories about conflict in other countries can bring up a number of feelings.

Rolling news about events such as the war in Ukraine and other conflict areas, can be overwhelming and leave us with a sense of helplessness at not knowing what to do.

Connecting with others

We can also feel empathy and sympathy for what our fellow human beings are going through.

Part of being human means we can connect with people we have never met, worrying about their situation and feeling their distress. It’s not unusual to feel different emotions at one time.

Fleeing a war-torn country is a very challenging thing for someone to do. People are forced to leave family members, homes, pets, jobs, and careers, as well as their social community.

Adjusting to being in a new country you didn’t necessarily choose isn’t easy. There may be many barriers to settling in, such as language and different cultural norms, like foods that are eaten.

Amy’s story: Living in a high-risk household

Amy, 22, a Jigsaw volunteer from Limerick shares her experience of the pandemic.

My experience of the Covid-19 pandemic has been somewhat different to that of my peers, as I am living in a high-risk household. A member of my family is currently undergoing chemotherapy which compromises their health immensely. Because of this, myself and the other members of my family are not only responsible for our own health, but for their health too.

The feeling of responsibility for someone else’s health is a difficult feeling to put into words. I did not feel much pressure and frustration during the first lockdown as everyone was in the same boat. I oddly felt safer and more relaxed knowing that everyone was undertaking the necessary precautions.

Difficult relationship with food

There are many things which can affect our relationship with food. As we get older, our tastes can change and our appetite can vary depending on our energy needs.

However, sometimes our relationship with food can become difficult or strained. We may start to feel self-conscious eating in front of others, begin to calorie count or restrict food.

In this article, you will find:

Why would someone restrict food?

There are many reasons for this. It can be a way to feel more in control when things around us feel outside of our control. It can be a way to cope with feelings of stress or anxiety.

Sometimes we can have difficulties with how we see ourselves, or don’t like how we look. This might make us try to change how we eat.

We may try to change our behaviour or our bodies, or attempt to ‘control’ our shape or our weight.

Setting boundaries with young people

As a parent, you have worked hard over the years to set boundaries for your children. To help them differentiate right from wrong and to make good choices.

However, as they get older many young people may seem determined to test boundaries (and their parents) to the limits.

Spend some time thinking about your boundaries and expectations and how they evolve. This can help avoid some of the conflict that inevitably arises as young people progress into adulthood.

In the article, you will find:

Domestic violence and mental health

Over the lockdown restrictions, we were asked to stay at home where possible. This was really challenging if home was not somewhere safe.

Domestic violence can happen in any type of relationship, no matter what your age, gender or sexuality. It can also happen in any family, regardless of culture, status or financial situation.

If you have experienced domestic violence you are not alone. One study by the National Crime Council has shown 15% of women and 6% of men in Ireland have been subjected to domestic abuse.

Domestic violence is not your fault, and help is available. Both local and national services are still open and offering support, despite the pandemic.

In this article you will find:

Ask Jigsaw: Mother comments on weight

I lost all my confidence due to the mean comments my mother makes about my weight. Is there any way I can make her stop making those comments? I know I have to lose some weight but she makes comments all the time. I have told her numerous times to stop but she won’t.


Hi Una,

It’s not surprising that we absorb the comments that our parents make about us. If our parents make positive remarks, we tend to feel more confident, but if they are negative it can make us doubt our self-worth. I’m sorry that you have had to experience negative remarks from your mother about your body image.

Ask Jigsaw: Self-harming and feeling trapped

hi if you are self harming and your mam knows you have a history of it, is it ok for her to tell you to kill yourself and hit you even if it was a couple of times. everything is ok now but im not allowed leave the house because i’m grounded for drinking but she thinks i don’t have a phone and i feel trapped and i have started self harming again and having panick attacks.

Hi Tasha05xo,

It sounds like things are really difficult for you at the moment. Thank you for reaching out to us.