Section 4: Identifying and accessing support

Section 4: Identifying and accessing support

Sunday, 24 May 2020

This section of the toolkit will explore what supports help-seeking and invites young people to identify supports in their lives.
It will also explore what they are looking forward to about their new schools.

Supporting the transition to post-primary toolkit

Identifying and accessing support
Section 4 encourages young people to ask for support when they need it, who they can turn to for support and what they are looking forward to when attending post-primary school.

You are here.

Learning intentions:

  • Exploring what encourages young people to access support
  • Looking forward to the change ahead.

Accessing support

Some young people may find this change from primary to post-primary school more challenging than others. In some circumstances, a young person may need to access additional support for their mental health and wellbeing. However, there are often a number of personal and environmental factors that stop young people from accessing support, including not knowing where to go or fear of being judged by others.


In the following activity we explore some of the things that might support a young person to ask for help.

close up on hands taking notes
  • Activity


    Before you begin this activity, it will be helpful to explain that there are many different things that may stop young people asking for support when they need it, including not knowing where to go or fear of being judged by others. Acknowledge that asking for help is not always an easy thing to do. You can explain to young people that this activity will explore some of the things that can support us to seek help when we need it.

    Explain that young people can walk to the left of the room if they disagree with the statement, walk to the right if they agree or they can stay in the middle if they don’t know or are unsure. Stop after each statement and ask for some feedback from the young people.

    Introduce this activity as a waking debate and use the following question and statements.

    You can explain that you are going to read a number of statements to them about help-seeking. Ask young people to consider whether they agree with, disagree with or are unsure of the following statements

    1. Knowing where to go to for support can make it easier for a young person to ask for help.
    2. It can be easier to open up about problems if a young person has a trusted adult who can guide them to supports.
    3. If a young person feels able to talk to someone about how they are feeling, it can make it easier for them to ask for support.
    4. Wildcard – this is the young people’s opportunity to suggest other things that may support help seeking.


    For further support with this activity, you can refer to the document ‘Preparing to Deliver the Transitions Toolkit’ in the introduction webpage and the guidance document at the end of this section.

One Good Adult

One Good Adult (OGA) is an adult in the lives of a young person they can trust and turn to when they need additional support. Sometimes, a listening ear from a supportive adult is all a young person needs during a difficult time.
Having an adult to turn to when they experiencing difficulties can be really helpful for young people. From our research My World Survey 2 (MWS-2) we have found that having one trusted adult can make a huge difference in the lives of young people.

Picture for my support tree
  • Resource

    This resource can be used to prompt young people to think about who they would like their One Good Adult to be in their lives.
    Some young people may not have a One Good Adult in their immediate family or may struggle to call one to mind.

    Therefore, it is important to phrase it as an opportunity for them to consider who they would like their One Good Adult to be in their lives.  Emphasise that this does not have to be a family member, it could be:

    • Member of school staff
    • A teacher they get on well with
    • A local Jigsaw member of staff
    • Sports coach
    • Their best friend’s parent
    • Another adult they trust.

    Print My support tree.

Looking forward to change

Although the transition from primary to post-primary can seem daunting, young people will also experience lots of new positive experiences. It is very important to acknowledge and validate concerns young people may have about the move to post-primary school, however, it is important to frame the experience as something positive.


This final homework activity will support you to explore with young people what they are looking forward to about their new school. It is designed to encourage them to be optimistic and to identify the positives about the change from primary to post-primary school.

  • Homework activity

    As a homework task, ask young people to think about the following statement:

    “One thing I am looking forward to about my new school is….”

    Ask young people to research the school they will attend and invite them to find an image, write out a fact about the new school that excites them or to create something that allows them to explore what they are looking forward to about their new school, this could be a drawing, poem or song. Encourage young people to be as creative as possible with this activity. Let them know that what they find or create will be shared with the rest of the class.

    Ask young people to bring it in to class and acknowledge each contribution by inviting some responses from the young people. Work as a team to create a display that can be hung up to display all of the contributions.

Support at Jigsaw

Jigsaw offers a variety of ways for young people to seek support. These include articles on issues that might be affecting young people, the opportunity to join live chat or to link in directly with a Jigsaw clinician. Encourage the class to visit jigsaw.ie to find out more or visit the website to explore as a class. Find out more about different forms of support.

Support documents


You have reached the end of Jigsaw’s school transition primary – post-primary toolkit. We hope that you found the resources, activities and guidance useful and that it supported your young people to be more comfortable with the change ahead.

As a member of school staff, you may want to explore our elearning options or share our parent section with your school community.

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