Youth mental health charity sees 400% increase in demand for online support during Covid-19

Staggering

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

darren.hassett@iconicnews.ie

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Youth mental health charity Jigsaw has seen a 400% increase in demand for its online services and supports since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis in March.

It has also had more than 4,000 teachers across the country sign up to its mental health eLearning programme during the outbreak.

With demand continuing to grow, the charity is asking people to support their emergency appeal by visiting www.jigsaw.ie/ now to donate €10 to help fund their vital supports.

"Isolation is leaving millions of us without the core things we value for our mental wellbeing. A hug, a conversation, a walk in the park," said Keith Judge, a Jigsaw Youth Advocate – a team of youth volunteers that support Jigsaw. 

"Jigsaw makes a big difference every day by helping young people in dark times. And, now, more than ever, they’re doing this by adapting to make sure they are still there for people during the pandemic," he added. 

In response to the crisis, Jigsaw has made significant changes to its supports and services. This includes a broadened offering of:

·       telephone support for young people already engaged in its one-to-one service 

·       regular group chats for young people at jigsawonline.ie  

·       email support through help@jigsaw.ie

·       a free support phone service where young people across the country can speak to a Jigsaw clinician – 1800 JIGSAW (544 729)

·       webinars for parents and teachers at jigsawonline.ie, hosted by a Jigsaw clinician 

·       regular support content on a range of Covid-19 related topics, from managing anxiety and uncertainty to conflict resolution and self-care strategies at jigsawonline.ie  

·       email updates for all subscribers at jigsaw.ie/updates  

"We at Jigsaw are here to help and support young people and their families through these challenging times," said Matthew Oakes, spokesperson for Jigsaw. 

"Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, our team has been working tirelessly to re-imagine the support that we give to those who most need it. 

"But demand for our services continues to grow – and we must be ready to meet it. Which is why today, we are asking people to visit jigsaw.ie/now and donate €10 so that we can be there for our young people, now more than ever."

To support Jigsaw by making a donation today visit www.jigsaw.ie/ now