Youth Mental Health Promotion | Careers |

Youth Mental Health Promotion

Youth Mental Health Promotion

Youth participation and mental health promotion in community and education settings.

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Aisling Creighton

This experience taught me the importance of empowering young people to use their voice, something that Jigsaw really values.

Aisling Creighton
Youth Mental Health Promotion Officer

A typical day for me is ...

Each day is full of variety. I develop content for our One Good School (OGS) programme and the Jigsaw Schools Hub. I often work on project proposals with the team. Teamwork is really important in the department.

I would support the roll-out of the OGS programme. It is really important in Jigsaw that all services and programmes are impactful and create meaningful change. Tracking the progress of this and liaising with the services is an essential part of the role.

I often facilitate consultations with Jigsaw clinicians or the eLearning team to get their feedback. Sometimes it might be with members of our youth advisory panel to get their perspectives on what we may be working on. I really like this part of the job as I get to meet a variety of different people.

My experience before coming to Jigsaw

I studied psychology at undergraduate level and completed a masters in applied psychology before I came to Jigsaw. I’ve always been interested in youth mental health and that’s what drew me to Jigsaw.

In a previous role, I worked in a primary school to support young people with behavioural, psychological, and learning difficulties. I really enjoyed it and saw how the school can be a vital support system for some young people.

Most recently, I worked in an educational psychology service for third-level students. I witnessed how important it was for young people to advocate for themselves and their educational needs. This experience taught me the importance of empowering young people to use their voice, something that Jigsaw really values.

What makes Jigsaw different?

What really sets aside this organisation from previous employers is that they actively involve young people in decisions that affect them. I think young people’s opinions are really valued. This definitely influenced the decision to apply for my role.

The way Jigsaw value and treat their staff also really sets them aside. They are always striving to improve working conditions and create flexible working opportunities. As a mental health organisation, they are really aware of the impact that the pandemic has had on staff. They do their best to try to support the workforce where they can.

What I wondered about before I started in Jigsaw

I have a background in psychology and always felt strongly about promoting mental health awareness in schools. So, learning about the work Jigsaw does with One Good School was really influential in my decision to work here.

I had heard from previous Jigsaw employees it was a really supportive and open environment to work in. The work the organisation does to strengthen communities, influence change at a national and local level, and deliver services to young people was a draw too.

Rebecca Murphy

Working alongside really sound, passionate people who give their all to their jobs is a massive plus with Jigsaw.

Rebecca Murphy
Youth Mental Health Promotion Coordinator

A typical day for me is ...

At the moment it’s answering emails, attending meetings, building courses, developing animations, and thinking through new programmes and developments. I try to give myself space to think through my work when I can. This includes writing ideas out longhand. I’d use a lot of graphs and charts to keep an eye on my work plan and projects too.

The great days are when I get to deliver workshops and training to people in the community or to our youth advisory panel – I get a great feeling of positivity from those!

My experience before coming to Jigsaw

My route to health promotion has been an odd one. I started out in drama and theatre, diverting into the students’ union as welfare officer, before working as a training and development officer in BeLonG To Youth Services.

I decided I wanted to get a qualification in the area I was working in at BeLonG To – health promotion. So, I returned to college for a Masters in Public Health (quite useful during a pandemic!!). After completing my masters, I worked in UCC coordinating their first-year peer support programme where I managed 300 volunteers, mostly young people under 25.

I wanted a job that gave me more of a team experience and less of an administrative burden. I also wanted to move to Dublin. When the Headstrong (Jigsaw’s former name) position was advertised, it seemed perfect.

What I wondered about before I started in Jigsaw

I really wanted to work with a bunch of friendly, passionate, hardworking people. The culture and the ethos of the office was really important to me and I got really good vibes from the moment I walked into the interview.

What do you see as the benefits of working for Jigsaw?

Working alongside really sound, passionate people who give their all to their jobs is a massive plus with Jigsaw. I’ve laughed myself silly with my colleagues so many times over the last five years and you can’t put a price on that.

It’s also really easy to feel part of something bigger with Jigsaw. This would be especially on days when I have direct contact with communities, like with young people, parents and teachers.

Kindness and empathy from my work colleagues and managers have been a large part of my experience in Jigsaw. I’ve always felt I can bring my whole self to work here – it feels like a really open, diverse, respectful place.

As a Youth Mental Health Promotion Coordinator ...

A large part of my role is building the capacity of adults to promote and support young people’s mental health – developing their confidence and building their skills. I think the work we do in YMHP causes a ripple that spreads throughout communities

I also consult with the youth advisory panel and youth advocates regularly, as well as deliver workshops to them. The presence of the youth advisory panel in Jigsaw encourages me to remain young person-centric.

Lil Fahy

A move home [from London] was on the horizon and I was attracted to Jigsaw because of the ethos, approach, and messaging here.

Lil Fahy
Youth Mental Health Promotion Manager (community settings)

A typical day for me is

  • Providing line management and support to the communities workstream within the Youth Mental Health Promotion department
  • Liaising and collaborating with the other workstreams: Education and Youth Participation, to ensure cohesion and integration across workstreams
  • Leadership in the development, implementation, and evaluation of mental health promotion programmes for community settings
  • Development of strategic partnerships and collaborations with external organisations to further mental health promotion in the community
  • Supporting the Staff Learning and Training Programme and working closely with Jigsaw leadership teams to build the capacity of Jigsaw staff to deliver mental health promotion workshops in community settings.

My experience before coming to Jigsaw

I initially trained as a primary school teacher and worked for seven years as a teacher in Dublin and London. Working in an area of East London with high levels of deprivation, I saw a real gap in supporting children’s development.

I took on a role within the school to provide more pastoral support. I then worked for four years as a Mental Health Advisor in the School Improvement Service, in North London. The role provided support and guidance to school leadership teams across the borough. While there, I completed a Masters in Public Health at the London Metropolitan University.

A move home was on the horizon and I was attracted to Jigsaw because of the ethos, approach, and messaging here. It very much fitted in with my own beliefs and experiences of teaching and supporting young people in schools.

What are the benefits of working at Jigsaw?

Working here means working at an organisation that is a leading voice for promoting youth mental health in Ireland. There are well-established systems providing support to young people. It is progressive, innovative and is committed to Youth Mental Health Promotion.

>> Read about the benefits of working at Jigsaw

As a Youth Mental Health Promotion Manager ...

My role gives me the opportunity to combine my experience working in education, and health promotion. It enables me to strategically use the latest research and health promotion principles, to support and enhance the environments where young people grow up.

I can advocate for better understanding of young people’s mental health and how it can be supported and promoted.

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