Jigsaw Tipperary moves to clarify "mis-information"

Noel Dundon

Reporter:

Noel Dundon

Email:

nd@tipperarystar.ie

Mental heath

Jigsaw remains absolutely committed, as it has been since the need for this service was identified, to bringing their service to the young people and the community in Tipperary as quickly as possible.

Jigsaw remains absolutely committed, as it has been since the need for this service was identified, to bringing their service to the young people and the community in Tipperary as quickly as possible.

Jigsaw has moved to clarify what they describe as misinformation in recent weeks in relation to their opening of a new facility in Tipperary


In a letter to interested stakeholders, seen by tipperarylive.ie the mental health group stated that:


“We have also become aware that some confusion, and unfortunately some misinformation, has arisen locally in recent weeks in relation to location, timelines and accessibility of the service to the wider county. This update aims to give local stakeholders a clear picture of where we are and the plan, as of now, as we look forward.


“The first thing to state is that Jigsaw remains absolutely committed, as it has been since the need for this service was identified, to bringing our service to the young people and the community in Tipperary as quickly as possible.
“As an organisation with a track record of delivering a range of services and supports across Ireland for over 14 years, our focus on young people’s mental health is paramount at all times.


“For the purposes of clarity, here are some updates on the current status of the project and on the interdependencies (some of which are outside Jigsaw’s control) on which a final opening date rest:


“In early February Jigsaw signed a lease for a premises that is located in Thurles Technology Park. Progress towards securing this premises was obviously slower than any of us would have liked. While there were a range of reasons for this delay (further complicated by the Covid 19 pandemic), we are delighted to finally call Thurles Technology Park our new home. We are also delighted that it is a permanent home for the service as we had, for a period of time, been exploring some interim options.


“Because we are publicly funded, Jigsaw now needs to go through a transparent tendering process for the works that are needed on the premises to fit it out as a youth mental health service. That tender has now issued and, all going to schedule, the intention is that the contract will be awarded and works commenced 6 weeks from now. We have been advised that the works themselves will take a further 6-8 weeks to complete.


“As soon as the lease was signed in early February, Jigsaw lodged the required Fire Safety Certificate and the Disabled Access Certificate applications with the Local Authority (both are required before works can commence). We are pleased to say that the Disability Access Certificate has now been approved (as of March 3). The Fire Safety Certificate is in progress.


“Recruitment of the team for Jigsaw in Tipperary is almost complete (one post left to fill). This team is made up of a Service Manager, a Clinical Manager, three clinicians from a range of mental health disciplines, a Service Administrator and a Youth & Community Engagement Worker. The first members of the team will begin to take up post in late April. We have organised for induction of that team to take place off site while works on the new premises are completed.


“The Covid 19 pandemic has undoubtedly impacted progress and continues to be something we work alongside and adapt to as best we can. We are working extremely hard to move through all of the above steps in as short a time as is possible. We estimate that, if each component happens according to schedule, the premises will be ready during the month of June.
“While we are aware a number of areas here are outside our control (statutory approvals, refurbishment and fit out process and works, etc.) we will continue to work tirelessly to this target date.


“Outreach Jigsaw is very mindful of the size and geography of County Tipperary and accessibility has always been a central pillar of our approach to service delivery. Our first priority, as we have always indicated, will be to establish and bed down the service in Thurles, but we will also be ensuring through a variety of ways that young people from the breadth of the county can access our services.


“Outreach service delivery in Clonmel and Nenagh remains firmly part of Jigsaw’s plan in Tipperary as part of the suite of options that we hope to bring to young people. While early conversations on the nature of this accessible range of services had centred only on physical outreach locations in other parts of the county, our thinking and experience continues to evolve.
“This is primarily informed by young people – their needs must be our first priority – and will continue to be.


“During 2020, Jigsaw added online options to its range of services. Feedback from young people, especially those located more remotely from our physical hubs, has been resoundingly positive about the additional accessibility the online options afford. Last year Jigsaw delivered over 50% of all individual therapeutic services to young people through online modalities (e.g. video sessions).


“Later this month (March 2021) our intention is to bring together a group of young people from across County Tipperary to discuss what outreach will look like in a Tipperary context, and how Jigsaw can deliver its service in a way that is most accessible for them. What we hear will inform our decision making.


“As soon as these consultations have concluded, we will share the findings with the relevant stakeholders.
“The voice of young people, the evidence and our experience as a trusted provider of mental health services to thousands of young people will be central in our decision making about the nature of outreach, not political motivations,” the letter said.