Influence change | What we do | Jigsaw Youth Mental Health

Influence change

Influence change

Influence change

To help more young people receive the support they need, we continue to influence government, the HSE and local authorities.

We also work with our partners to explore the best ways of delivering better mental health support to young people.

Why Ireland must prioritise youth mental health

  • 1.6 million

    a third of Ireland’s population, are under 25 years old

  • 8.3 million

    euro per year cost to Ireland’s economy on mental health difficulties

  • 40%

    of adolescents surveyed reported experiencing levels of depression outside the normal range

  • 49%

    of adolescents surveyed reported levels of anxiety outside the normal range

We understand how mental health can affect a young person’s life. Working with government and policymakers we help shape policy to improve lives.

To ensure better mental health support for young people we are asking government and policymakers to:

  • engage and collaborate with us in developing sustainable solutions to support young people
  • prioritise prevention and early intervention at the primary care level in mental health
  • increase the proportion of mental health spending to at least 10% of the overall health budget
  • address the imbalance in funding between crisis services and early intervention services at primary care level
  • increase funding for Jigsaw, and for this funding to be multi-annual, to do the following…
three young people sitting and laughing on steps
  1. grow our primary care early intervention mental health services for young people
  2. fully resource our online mental health support
  3. rollout our new fully comprehensive post primary school’s programme, One Good School™
  4. deliver pioneering research, undertaking robust evaluation and publishing transformative evidence.

These recommendations were first presented at a Jigsaw briefing to government and policy makers at Leinster House. They are part of our report A New Perspective: Meeting the mental health needs of young people in Ireland.

While broadly welcomed, we know there is still a long way to go in making sure all young people have access to the support they need. Continuing to engage with policy makers and politicians we aim to further influence decision making to deliver better mental health supports for young people.

Our research tells us how we can best meet the mental health needs of each young person that comes to us for support.

We evaluate all of our services and supports, and have built a bank of knowledge and experience that we share to help increase everyone’s understanding of young people’s mental health.

My World Survey 2

Published in 2019, My World Survey 2 is Ireland’s largest and most comprehensive study of young people’s mental health and wellbeing. It captures the views of more than 19,000 young people. It is the first outcome of a research partnership between University College Dublin (UCD) School of Psychology and Jigsaw.

Among the most striking findings were:

  • levels of depression and anxiety in adolescents and young adults increased from My World Survey 1 to My World Survey 2
  • levels of protective factors related to mental health such as self-esteem, optimism and resilience have decreased
  • factors such as sleep, physical activity and pornography use were strongly associated with depression and anxiety
  • there was a 7% increase in adolescents reporting the presence of One Good Adult®. 76% of adolescents reported having a special adult in their lives when in need.

Read the full report at

The findings led to extensive media coverage featuring in The Irish Times, the Irish Examiner, on RTE’s Morning Ireland, on the, and on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show.

This is only the beginning though. The findings will help to inform the development of Jigsaw’s primary care approach. It will also go along way to influence youth mental health policy and practice in Ireland.

See our latest research.

We tell people about Jigsaw and what we do. Telling the public about young people’s mental health and why it is hugely important.

Young people, volunteers and supporters help us to do this.

We need people to understand why young people’s mental health matters. Because we need their help if we are to be there for every young person that needs us.

Working with our partners, volunteers and supporters we let people know why young people’s mental health is everyone’s business. And what we can all do to make a difference.

Jigsaw and Lidl’s Listening campaign

In 2019, Jigsaw and Lidl launched the One Good Adult Listening campaign with adverts across radio, print, and TV. The campaign encouraged people to take the time to listen to each other. It highlighted the value of being that One Good Adult® in a young person’s life.

The TV adverts had a reach of 488,000 people on their first day. The radio campaign ran on national stations reaching over 1.48 million listeners, and 1.3 million listeners across regional stations over the course of the campaign.

Giving voice to the experience of young people

Our youth volunteers support Jigsaw in promoting what we do and why we do it. Generously sharing their experiences and stories in different ways including:

  • As part of the My World Survey 2 launch, Rachel White, a member of our Donegal youth advisory panel, spoke passionately about her experience of Jigsaw and shared her views on the report’s findings
  • Creating a range of video and audio content for our support information ( By discussing their own experiences coming to Jigsaw, and how they managed mental health difficulties, other young people benefit from their stories.
  • Joining us at our All Staff Day in June 2019 to talk about the reasons behind their support for Jigsaw.
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