Strengthening communities: Promoting youth mental health where young people live, learn, work, and play

Promoting mental health across communities and settings where young people live, learn, work and play is vital to support their longterm health and wellbeing. Jigsaw: The National Centre for Youth Mental Health in Ireland works to strengthen communities. Through its youth mental health promotion activities, Jigsaw seeks to inform, support, educate and empower young people and those around them, promoting collective responsibility for youth mental health. Drawing on a body of evidence generated across three streams of work: Education, Community, and Youth Participation, this session will provide practical insights from Jigsaw’s research on youth mental health promotion. The session will incorporate findings from data collected using a variety of methodologies in school and community settings. With a focus on key learnings and the translation of findings into practice, it will explore important questions about promoting youth mental health across different settings and delivery formats.

Presenters and slide deck

Maeve Dwan O’Reilly, PhD student, UCD School of Psychology & Jigsaw

Maeve Dwan O’Reilly is a Ph.D. candidate and Irish Research Council scholar at University College Dublin and Jigsaw, The National Centre for Youth Mental Health in Ireland. Maeve’s research focuses on mental health literacy in secondary schools; she is currently looking at teacher involvement in Jigsaw’s One Good School initiative. Maeve is a former secondary school teacher and ESL teacher.

Dr Aileen O’Reilly, Research Manager, Jigsaw & UCD School of Psychology

Dr. Ailbhe Booth, Research Psychologist, Jigsaw

Dr Ailbhe Booth is a research psychologist at Jigsaw: The National Centre for Youth Mental Health in Ireland. As the Research Coordinator at Jigsaw, her current research focuses on programme evaluation and effectiveness in the area of youth mental health promotion

Siobhan McGrory, Director of Education & Community in Youth Mental Health, Jigsaw

Key Learnings

  • There are 3 important components to Jigsaw’s youth mental health promotion: Community, Youth Participation, and Education.
  • Less than half of school staff are confident in supporting young people's mental health, and youth turn to natural supports first.
  • The large majority of youth can tell if a decision, service, process or a procedure was made with youth involvement.

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