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Oct 2016 by PCI College

Connection Profile: Jigsaw Clondalkin

Jigsaw Clondalkin is part of a national network of Jigsaw projects supported by Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, all aiming to provide tailored community-based help for young people’s mental health needs.

Who We Are

Since Dr Tony Bates founded our charity in 2006, we have grown to support the mental health and wellbeing of over 15,000 young people across Ireland. As an editor of ‘A Vision for Change’, the ten year Government policy on mental health service reform, and a mental health professional with over 30 years of experience, Tony was inspired to work with the young people who became our first Youth Advisory Panel, to set up Headstrong – The National Centre for Youth Mental Health. We were created to change how Ireland thinks about and supports young people's mental health through our three programmes of:

1.    Research
2.    Engagement
3.    Jigsaw Services

Youth Advisory Panel

Jigsaw listens to what young people have to say and strives to involve them in many aspects of our work. The young people on the panel contribute by promoting youth mental health, building awareness of Jigsaw, advising Jigsaw directly, working with other relevant organisations, fundraising and helping Jigsaw challenge the stigma that surrounds mental health. In each of the services across Ireland we have a local Youth Advisory Panel embedded in the community. In the national office we have the Jigsaw YAP which consists of YAP members from other Jigsaw services and other young people involved in our work on a national level. (More info here.)

Name Change

In 2016, the year of our tenth anniversary, we changed our name from Headstrong to Jigsaw. This was in recognition of the incredible efforts of our supporters, staff and Youth Advisory Panels in making the name of our service ‘the word’ in the national conversation about youth mental health. Working together under the one name, we aim to set the course for a future where every community across Ireland will have access to the support that Jigsaw offers.


Our Vision is an Ireland where young people are connected to their community and have the resilience to face challenges to their mental health. We respect the voice of young people, and believe that all young people should be given the supports they need to develop good mental health. We recognise that young people, communities and government all have a role and contribution in developing a supportive environment to foster mental health in young people. We strive to innovate, challenge and apply best practice in youth mental health in an Irish context. As an evidence-led organisation we research and evaluate all of our activities. Our goals include that every young person will have at least “one good adult” in their life, and that when they need support, they will be able to seek and obtain it.

One Good Adult

We in Jigsaw are working hard to spread the message of ‘One Good Adult’ (OGA), to adults and young people all over the country. We know that the presence of One Good Adult in a young person’s life has a positive influence on their mental health. Be it a parent, teacher, football coach or school bus driver, we all have a role in supporting the young people around us.
Evidence from the My World Survey (Dooley & Fitzgerald, 2012), highlights the positive influence that OGA can have in the lives of young people. 70% of young people growing up in Ireland today said they receive high or very high support from OGA.  These young people in turn are more connected to others, more self-confident, future looking and better able to cope with difficulties than those young people who reported that they did not have the support of OGA. (More info on OGA here.)

Jigsaw Clondalkin Hub

In April 2013 we opened our HUB in Clondalkin providing a welcoming space for young people to call in, get information or have a chat with a support worker. It is a free and confidential support service for young people, their mental health and wellbeing, aged 12 – 25 living in the Clondalkin, Lucan, Palmerstown and Newcastle area. If a young person wants support, our staff will be here to listen, without making judgements, and to provide supportive guidance. We will also provide information and advice to anyone who is worried about a friend or young person in their life. Jigsaw’s aim is to support young people in who are struggling, to ensure they get the support they need, when and where they need it.

Jigsaw Clondalkin Youth Advisory Panel

At Jigsaw Clondalkin, we believe it’s vital to make sure that young people’s voices are heard. Our Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) represents us and takes part in decision making at every level.

Youth & Community Engagement

As well as directly helping young people in tough times, we want to work towards a community that is supportive of mental health and well being. Presentations and talks in schools, workplaces and community groups aim to open up a discussion on mental health and raise people's awareness of the support that Jigsaw Clondalkin can offer. We also offer in depth training to youth workers, teachers and others working with young people on how to support young people’s mental health. Peer Education is a central part of our mission and we provide regular training in schools and youth groups to empower young people to educate each other. We also work to improve the support available to young people by connecting with the many organisations throughout the Clondalkin, Lucan, Palmerstown and Newcastle areas. The aim is to make sure that young people have better access to support in their local area.

For more information about Jigsaw Clondalkin:
Drop in to our hub at Moorfield Avenue (beside Neilstown Church), Neilstown Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22
Call 01 5380087
Email clondalkin@jigsaw.ie

Relevant Links / Online Resources:

Jigsaw National Office Online

Find a Jigsaw

References / Further Reading:

Bates, T., Illback, R. J., Scanlan, F. & Carroll, L. (2009). Somewhere To Turn To, Someone To Talk To. Headstrong – The National Centre for Youth Mental Health, Dublin
Read online here.

Dooley, B. A. & Fitzgerald, A. (2012). My World Survey : National Study of Youth Mental Health in Ireland. Headstrong – The National Centre for Youth Mental Health, Dublin & UCD School of Psychology, Dublin
Read online here.


Author Bio

Derek Hanway has been Project Manager of Jigsaw Clondalkin since July 2014. Derek brings considerable experience and expertise to Jigsaw Clondalkin from over 20 years in community development management. Derek started work in London, working in social services with Irish Centre Housing and returned to Ireland in the late ‘90’s to work with Blanchardstown Area Partnership where he developed the Local Employment Service and then became their CEO in 2000. Taking a break in 2005 he moved to Belfast and went to QUB for 2 years, completing his Masters in Social & Community Development. He worked in various roles in NI up to 2013 when he returned ‘down south’ and back to his hometown of Dunboyne.

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