New data shows Ireland on course to be global leader in youth mental health by 2027

October 03rd 2017

New data shows Ireland on course to be global leader in youth mental health by 2027

New data released today, Tuesday 3rd October by Jigsaw, indicates that Ireland is on track to be a global leader in youth mental health research and support services by 2027.

The data, taken from Jigsaw’s 2016 annual report, has for the first time, confirmed that Ireland’s unique early intervention method is working: 74% of 17-25 year olds achieved a reliable improvement in psychological distress after being provided with support by a Jigsaw Service. These findings indicate that young people attending Jigsaw are experiencing high levels of psychological distress and provide emerging evidence that Jigsaw is an effective service for young people.

Jigsaw CEO, Dr. Joseph Duffy, says: “The data we are announcing today shows not just how far we have come as a country, but it is also evidence that suggests we are on track to building one of the best youth mental health infrastructures in the world."

“Jigsaw realises that mental health is a cross cutting issue that is deeply entrenched in every aspect of Irish society – particularly when it comes to young people. Demand for mental health supports is greater than ever, with services becoming increasingly under-resourced and over-stretched. But, today’s data shows that we have made very significant progress over the past 10 years, and our country’s mental health support services, charities, and our communities at large, are all dedicated to achieving a mentally healthy Ireland. If we continue to work tirelessly to ensure that no young person suffers in silence, Ireland will be a global leader in the area of youth mental health.”

Where the early intervention model we use in Ireland differs from that of the model used across the rest of the world, is that our early intervention focuses on providing tangible supports and services for young people before they reach the point of acquiring a formal mental health diagnosis.

Dr. Gillian O’Brien, Jigsaw’s Director of Clinical Governance, says: “The CORE Questionnaire is an internationally recognised measure of psychological distress and can measure change in psychological distress over time. Our data shows that 74% of 17-25 years olds and 56% of 12-16 years olds achieved a reliable improvement in psychological distress from pre- to post-intervention.”

Other data released in Jigsaw’s annual report reveals that the most common difficulties that young people came to Jigsaw Services with were: anxiety (38%), low mood (30%), stress (20%), anger (15%), and sleep difficulties (14.5%).

It also shows an increase in understanding amongst young people and their communities about when and where to seek mental health support.

You can view the full report here.