Youth Advocates Invite TDs To Discuss Mental Health

Youth Advocates Invite TDs To Discuss Mental Health


Friday, 28 June 2024

On Tuesday 25th of June 2024, 9 Jigsaw Youth Advocates invited their local elected representative to come and meet with them in Leinster House to discuss their concerns about the lack of resources and funding for early intervention and prevention in their local communities.

Aoibhe, a Youth Advocate for Jigsaw Dublin City, spoke to invited representatives about the need for more resources to support young people in schools, through early intervention and prevention and engagement at a local level with schools.

Youth Advocate holding a sign that says

Aoibhe, Youth Advocate for Jigsaw Dublin City

“I’ve just finished my Leaving Cert and I could see how many young people had been affected by their mental health throughout my year.”

Dan another Youth Advocate with Jigsaw Tipperary, raised a point on how a more social model of care could have a positive impact on the way that we support people going through mental health difficulties.

Dan, Youth Advocate for Jigsaw Tipperary

“I was in there today, to talk about the system itself, and encouraging TD’s to promote a more social model of care in contrast to what is maybe considered the more medical model of care at the minute.”

Jigsaw’s peer-to-peer care model has been seen as effective throughout our One Good Club and One Good School Programs and has seen a change in attitudes toward normalising open discussions about mental health difficulties at a peer-to-peer level.

You can check out our One Good School video here

Youth Advocate holding a sign that says

Alex, Youth Advocate for Jigsaw Dublin City

Alex, a Youth Advocate with Jigsaw Dublin City spoke to the Oireachtas about her concerns about the impacts of social media and sensitive content online on the mental health of young people across Ireland.

Ellie, a Youth Advocate with Jigsaw National Office brought concerns about how socio-economical issues and under-funding for the services plays a part in the the lack of help available to young people when they need it most.

Ellie, Youth Advocate for Jigsaw National Office

“With the services already in dire need of change, it can just make it so much harder for people to be seen properly.”

Why youth advocacy is important

At Jigsaw, one of our core values is that we are a youth-led charity. We value the voice of young people and work collaboratively with our Youth Advocates, to make changes to the youth mental health sector by helping them amplify their voices and ideas all the way up to government cabinet meetings.

We were delighted that our Youth Advocates got the chance to speak with the TDs and Senators in the Oireachtas. All of our youth advocates felt heard by the committee and are hopeful that the recommendations that they have put forward show the urgent need for funding in early intervention and prevention support for young people’s mental health across Ireland.

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