Jigsaw calls for more funds for youth mental health

Jigsaw calls for more funds for youth mental health

Tuesday, 25 July 2023

Dr. Joseph Duffy, Jigsaw CEO calls for systemic changes to funding of youth mental health services in wake of “most demanding year”.


The double-whammy of lack of funding and increased demand is contributing to Ireland’s mental health support services being more stretched than ever before.

New data released in Jigsaw’s Annual Report for 2022 has revealed the growing demand for our support services. 2022 saw Jigsaw offer its highest number of appointments to young people, whilst also receiving its second highest ever number of referrals.

  • 8,405 young people sought support from their community-based services based in 14 locations across Ireland
  • 36,360 appointments offered to young people, presenting with a range of mental health difficulties.
Dr. Joseph Duffy
Jigsaw CEO
2022 has been the most demanding year for Jigsaw since our establishment some 17 years ago. If we are to respond to this growing demand, something has to give.

The current levels of funding, received from the HSE and the public, are simply not enough to maintain existing levels of service, let alone support expansion into new areas or new locations.

Increased funding for youth mental services must be made available in Budget 2024. Without it, our services, already stretched and under-resourced, will become overwhelmed.

We are concerned that, at a time when young people already face significant challenges to their mental health, growing pressure on mental health support services means that all too often young people are facing the additional anxiety of increasing wait times with limited support options.

Sophie Kathryn
psychology graduate and previous user of Jigsaw services
Jigsaw is so important because it offers support early. It doesn’t make any sense that just 5% of our total health budget is ring-fenced for mental health in Ireland.

Investment in keeping people well, rather than waiting until they are very unwell makes far more sense.

The current approach is akin to only treating heart disease after a cardiac arrest – it's short-sighted, piecemeal and simply not good enough.


In response, we have pledged to continue to expand and look for new ways to offer mental health support. Jigsaw continues to have plans for service expansion, growth in breadth and depth of its work with communities, schools, higher education settings, workplaces, sport clubs and online communities.

But, with the numbers of young people seeking support expected to continue to rise, we believe that this is not enough. There are serious gaps in Ireland’s mental health supports clearly highlighted by the Maskey Report – alongside cross sectoral restructuring, we believe funding is a central issue.

We are calling for the government to act on its warning and ensure that there is enough funding and the plans in place for the mental health services and supports that our young people need and deserve.

At Jigsaw, we are here to make sure that young people get the help and support they need and deserve. So we are urging the government to prioritise investment now to provide the standard of mental health support that our communities and our young people deserve.

We want to share the story of our work with you in our Annual Report for 2022.

Thank you to our volunteers, supporters, and employees for all you have done.

For media enquiries or to arrange an interview with a Jigsaw spokesperson, please email comms@jigsaw.ie.

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