Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that while he welcomes the government commitment to open a new Jigsaw mental health service in Thurles, it is absolutely vital that outreach hubs are developed on a parallel basis throughout the county. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Minister of State for Mental Health, Jim Daly, confirmed that the long awaited Jigsaw service will be based in Thurles after years of questions around where it would be situated:
“There are very many people who have worked tirelessly and collaboratively over the last seven years to ensure that a service like Jigsaw would be developed within the county.
This is a very special and positive outcome for them. I myself have worked since at least 2013 to progress this matter forward.
I do want to acknowledge the concerns that are emerging however in terms of the accessibility of the service for the broader county given its location in Thurles which is not well served by public transport networks.
We know that Jigsaw caters specifically for young people between the ages of 12 and 25 who are experiencing difficulties with mental health.
These are the groups who are being particularly affected by the scourge of rampant drug use in the county, so it is vital they have accessible services.
At present we have wonderful groups like C-Saw, Taxi Watch and the River Suir Suicide Watch but we need dedicated resources specifically aimed at addressing mental health in a preventative manner.
This is why I hope that the Jigsaw service can be expanded throughout our towns and villages where there is such an obvious and desperate need,” concluded Deputy McGrath.