Against the backdrop of a growing mental health crisis brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, youth mental health charity, Jigsaw, has seen demand for its services in August 2020 increase by almost 50% compared with the same period last year. This follows an increase of traffic to its e-mental health platform of over 400% over the last 6 months, a surge in demand for its schools supports and a month-on-month increase to calls to 1800 JIGSAW support line. To meet this growing demand, Jigsaw is calling on people to support its Revolution campaign, by cycling 100km and raising €100 by World Mental Health Day on Saturday October 10th.
“While much remains unpredictable, what’s clear to us here in Jigsaw is that young people and those around them need continued support to get them through the months ahead,” said Mike Mansfield, Director of Communications and Fundraising at Jigsaw. “What we are hearing from those who have been using our services and supports over the last 6 months is a real cause for concern. Isolation, uncertainty and fear are leaving many without the core elements we value and need for our mental wellbeing.”
Jigsaw has also seen a slight shift in the issues that young people are presenting with since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. While anxiety remains the top issue among young people, they’re seeing an increase in sleep-related issues, family conflict and a marked spike in contacts from parents and teachers seeking support.
“Lack of connection with those around them as a result of increasing restrictions is leading to high levels of anxiety, low mood and psychological distress. Continued uncertainty is contributing to a growing sense of hopelessness and fear for the future. Concern and worry for parents and family members are also emerging as central themes. It’s evident that Covid-19, and the measures taken to contain it, will leave many – particularly those who were struggling pre-Covid – scarred,” Mike Mansfield continued.
Revolution x Jigsaw is a new campaign aimed at responding to the growing crisis. In encouraging people across Ireland to cycle 100km and raise €100 before October 10th, Jigsaw sees this as a practical way to help and support our young people’s mental health.
“The idea is simple. By coming together and playing a small part, collectively we can make a huge difference. We have hundreds people across Ireland on board, all cycling for a reason – a family member, themselves, the future. It’s been heartening, but we need more people to join today. We urgently need to raise €100,000 in the next three weeks,” he added.