Fianna Fáil spokesperson for Health Stephen Donnelly has welcomed the news that a new youth mental health service is to open in Wicklow.
Deputy Donnelly explained, “Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, has announced that it plans to add to its national network of drop-in centres with a new base in the county. It means that anyone between the ages of 12 and 25 will be able to make an appointment to speak with a mental health professional, without needing a referral letter from their GP.
“Jigsaw aims to bring mental health into the community and get rid of the old sterile approach where all patients are treated in hospital. This type of early intervention is perfect for youngsters experiencing mild to moderate difficulties. We all need a little help sometimes so it’s great to know someone’s there to listen.
“We don’t yet know where Jigsaw will set up base. It typically costs around €750,000 a year to keep a centre open and Jigsaw gets around 84 percent of its funding from the HSE. A number of locations, mainly around Bray and Greystones, are being looked at right now and a home will be chosen soon allowing the centre to open before the end of the year. There will be a public consultation phase before the final decision is made and Jigsaw is promising to link in with other local community services like schools and sports clubs”, concluded Donnelly.