March 25, 2024
Funding shortfall leads to mental health redundancies at Jigsaw – Mark Ward TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has called on the government to reexamine its decision to reduce funding for Jigsaw.

Deputy Ward was contacted directly with reports that Jigsaw has received almost €1 million less this year from the HSE, which has already led to redundancies at the youth mental health organisation.

Teachta Ward said:

“The reports of a shortfall in funding for Jigsaw is extremely worrying.

“Jigsaw plays a vital role in early intervention in youth mental health that can reduce the need of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

“Jigsaw is the only primary care youth mental health service provider in Ireland, for young people aged 12 to 25.

“It has been reported to me that this year there will be a shortfall of almost €1 million in funding to Jigsaw from the HSE.

“This has already led to redundancies in the organisation and will likely lead to more.

“At present, there are 33 active vacant posts in Jigsaw and my understanding is that because of the shortfall in funding, Jigsaw will be unable to recruit for these positions.

“There is a crisis in youth mental health right through from primary care to the specialist services of CAMHS.

“Early intervention is key to addressing mental health needs in young people.

“We have seen the demand for CAMHS greatly increase since 2020, a reduction in staff for Jigsaw will only make this situation worse.

“What is most worrying about this is that Jigsaw’s waiting lists were finally coming down. At one stage, waiting times were up to 30 weeks. But the most recent figures we have received have the highest waiting times at 15 weeks and the lowest times at just one to two weeks.

“Jigsaw operates across 15 different sites, often setting up in areas most in need of mental health supports for young people.

“I have contacted Minister Butler’s office and have asked her to reexamine this so that Jigsaw can continue to carry out the vital work that they do in our communities.”

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