Headstrong invest €800,000 for new youth mental health initiative in Co. Kerry
Headstrong, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health has today (Friday, 9th October) announced that it will be investing €800,000, to support the development of a new youth mental health initiative called Jigsaw in Co. Kerry. The Jigsaw project is a community initiative to enhance supports for young people’s mental health. This major investment will see €400,000 in direct financial support and an additional €400,000 in organisational resources.
Jigsaw Kerry, a partnership between Headstrong the HSE and North and East Kerry Development, aims to reduce the stigma associated with mental health and to encourage young people to seek support earlier. Jigsaw Kerry will provide training for community leaders and parents to help them understand when a young person needs help and where best to get that help.
At the announcement Headstong’s Founding Director Tony Bates said “What’s exciting about Jigsaw is that it works with existing resources, so at a time when a significant number of services are being reduced, Headstrong can make a real difference to young people in County Kerry. Involving young people in decisions which impact upon them is a key to the Jigsaw programme”
Jigsaw Kerry will work in partnership with 23 different organisations across the county to ensure that services are more accessible for young people. Former Tanaiste Mr Dick Spring, Chairman of Jigsaw Kerry Management Committee said. “Mental Health is something which impacts on all families at some point in their life either directly or indirectly. As a community we need to recognise that it is everyone’s responsibility to support young people at difficult times and not just that of the health professionals”.
International expert on youth mental health and visiting Professor of Psychiatry from the University of Melbourne, Professor Patrick McGorry commented “the system is weakest where it needs to be strongest. Up to 75% of mental health problems have their onset in the 15-25 year age range. Organisations like Headstrong and their Jigsaw Programme are part of an international movement which has recognised that more can be done by different sectors working together rather than operating in isolation”.
Professor McGorry will be speaking at the Institute of Technology in Tralee on Friday 9th October at 10.00am on the importance of early intervention in youth mental health and the developments that will occur locally through the Jigsaw Kerry project.
The forum Introducing Jigsaw Kerry will take place on Friday 9th October at the Solas Building, IT in Tralee, North Campus at 10.00am
For further information, contact
Craig Hodges, Headstrong
Tel. 086 3708787
- Professor Pat McGorry will be available for interview
- Robert Carey, Manager from North East Kerry Development will be available for interview
- Young people who have contributed to the development of the Jigsaw Programme in Kerry will be available to speak to the media at the forum
Headstrong’s vision is an Ireland where young people are connected to their community and have the resilience to face challenges to their mental health. Headstrong recognises that young people, communities and Government all have a role and contribution in developing a supportive environment to foster mental health in young people.