Local TD has called out Jigsaw youth mental health waiting times

Photo © Jigsaw Facebook

Tipperary TD Martin Browne has called Jigsaw youth mental health waiting times “extremely worrying.”

Deputy Browne has urged the Minister to engage with the service to come up with a solution to ensure young people’s mental health is a priority.

Tipperary currently has 58 people on Jigsaw waiting lists, and appointment wait times have increased from 3 to 10 weeks since 2021.

Cork has the longest waiting list with 404 people, followed by South West Dublin with 272 people.

Deputy Browne told Tipp FM that the current system is not helping the younger generation and waiting times are only getting longer.

Whether the Minister of the government wants to recognise it or not, behind every number that we’re talking about, there’s a young person who needs our help, and they should have access to services in a timely fashion.

“The cry for help from our young people, it cannot anymore fall on deaf ears. What kind of country are we actually living in, that we have 16-year-olds who should be out enjoying themselves, having to worry about writing to a politician like me, or any other politician?

“They’re caught up in system that isn’t helping them and the delays are just getting longer and longer.”

Jigsaw opened its doors in Thurles in 2021 and Deputy Browne told Tipp FM that while the introduction of Jigsaw services to Tipp was welcomed, there were concerns around the fact there was not be a hub in Clonmel or Nenagh, and that concern still stands today as waiting lists get longer.

“Look, we all appreciated when Jigsaw was announced in Tipperary and we welcomed the announcement. It was going to be a major difference for young people in our county. At that stage even there was worries because we weren’t being told about a hub in Clonmel and Nenagh, which has come up since.

“In November of that year, it had gone to seven weeks, and I said, “We now have gone to a ten-week waiting period for young people with mental health issues.”

“I don’t think anybody can say that’s right for a young person if they’re showing signs of mental distress.”