Jigsaw to accept referrals from next month in Thurles

Mental heath

JIGSAW will be accepting referrals in Thurles next month

The long running saga is set to end following an announcement today from the Minister 

The Minister of State with responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD today  confirmed that the Jigsaw Centre for Tipperary is set to open its doors for referrals from next month.

The Minister made this announcement in the Dáil today, and it has been welcomed by Fianna Fáil T.D. for Tipperary, Jackie Cahill who addressed the Minister the Dáil soon after.

Deputy Cahill acknowledged Minister Butler’s work in delivering the Jigsaw Centre for Tipperary soon after she took office and thanked her for her continued work with him on this project. The Thurles man also raised the issue of psychiatric beds for Tipperary, mental health supports and counselling services for third level students, and supports for older people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking today in the Dáil, Deputy Cahill said: “Providing mental health supports for young people in Tipperary is one of the most important issues facing us at the moment. Since getting elected to this House in 2016, I have made it my mission to secure a Jigsaw centre for Tipperary, and since you came to office in July of last year, you have done trojan work to help deliver this.

“The announcement today that the Jigsaw centre will start taking referrals from July in my hometown of Thurles, and confirmation that in-person services will be available from next month comes as very welcomes news. There is no denying that there has been some disappointment locally with the delay in opening the centre, and both Covid-19 and issues with the tender process have slowed down this project. However, your support for the Jigsaw centre in Thurles has been unwavering and I thank you and your officials in the Department for working with me so closely on this matter.

“The next step, Minister, and I will be pushing just as hard for this as I have been for the centre in Thurles, is securing the establishment of the satellite centres in Clonmel and Nenagh as previously committed to. I look forward to working with you on this also.

In raising the case for the allocation of psychiatric beds for Tipperary, and describing the unacceptable situation where someone in need from the North of the county would have to travel to Ennis, while those from South Tipperary can only receive this treatment in Kilkenny, the Fianna Fáil T.D. for Tipperary said: “People, when they are in this level of need, require these services at home, in Tipperary, close to loved ones, where they feel safe and secure. I am not asking for a huge allocation of beds for the county, but enough to save people travelling long distances away from home for psychiatric beds when they need help the most.

Cahill also went on to call for a significant increase in face-to-face counselling services on third level campuses for students, as they return to in-person tuition from next September, highlighting the particularly difficult year and a half that young people have experienced, having sacrificed so much for the safety of others.

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