New data released by youth mental health service Jigsaw shows that Ireland is on track to become a global leader in youth mental health research and support services by 2027.


The early intervention model used in Ireland which focuses on offering young people help and options before a formal medical diagnosis is proving to be particularly effective, according to data taken from Jigsaw’s 2016 annual report.


74 percent of young people aged between 17-25  showed a reliable improvement in psychological distress after being provided with support by a Jigsaw Service, indicating that the service’s early intervention programmes are working.


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



Jigsaw CEO, Dr. Joseph Duffy, said: “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 has provided both direct and indirect support to 17,331 young people in Ireland since its inception in 2008 and 96 percent of service users would recommend it to a friend in need of help.


In 2016, 4,185 young people availed of Jigsaw services.


The most common problems young service users presented with were: anxiety (38 percent), low mood (30 percent), stress (20 percent), anger (15 percent), and sleep difficulties (14.5 percent).


Dr Duffy said:  “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”.