Nicole’s story: Support for anxiety

Nicole’s story: Support for anxiety

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Originally reported by RTE, Nicole, who is a Jigsaw volunteer, was interviewed to discuss youth mental health in the context of her own life.

This conversation was sparked by the release of My World Survey 2, carried out by UCD in conjunction with Jigsaw, which surveyed more than 19,000 young people in Ireland.

Nicole’s story

Nicole began experiencing feelings of anxiety when she started secondary school. Nicole is 17 years old and is from Co Offaly.

“Anxiety is a big challenge. From secondary school it became a big part of my life … it feels like pressure, but like built up, or like panic. It’s hard to explain but its overwhelming,” she said.

Being around large crowds of people could ignite her feelings of anxiety.


Nicole, 17
Jigsaw volunteer
It makes your life easier, honestly, just being able to speak to people.

“Big groups of people, it just made me feel self-conscious so it would make me react badly…mostly just freezing,” she said. “I couldn’t move so I would text someone and (ask them) can you come meet me and walk the rest of the way with me.”

Nicole believes that young people are becoming more open about the mental health difficulties they are facing. She said seeing posters about Jigsaw and learning about mental health during school had assisted her in asking for help.

“It makes your life easier, honestly, just being able to speak to people. And different methods on breathing and just getting through it,” she said.

Getting help and support

The experience of anxiety can feel overwhelming and scary. However, there is lots that we can do manage these feelings. Understanding more about anxiety, where it comes from and how it can impact us is a good start. There are lots of books about managing anxiety and you can find a guide to some of these in our ‘Read Your Mind’ catalogue. Some people prefer to use mental health apps to help them cope with anxiety.

At times however, we may need a bit more support to help us to cope with feelings of anxiety. If you are unsure whether you need help to manage your anxiety, this guide may help. If you decide you would like to talk to someone about your mental health, there are a range of services available for under 18’s and over 18’s.

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