Jigsaw Projects in Ireland

REACH Evaluation is working with Headstrong, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, in the planning and evaluation of a new system of supports that will improve the health and well-being of young people in Ireland.

Headstrong’s overall mission is to change how Ireland thinks about young people’s mental health through research, advocacy and service development. The Jigsaw model of service delivery is Headstrong’s response to the challenge of transforming how young people in Ireland access mental health support and attain positive developmental outcomes. Jigsaw brings services and supports together to insure that every young person has one good adult in their life to support them, whatever their level of need. Thus, Jigsaw seeks to: (1) ensure access to youth friendly integrated mental health supports when and where young people need them, (2) build the confidence and capacity of front line workers to directly support young people and to connect them to Jigsaw, and, (3) promote community awareness around youth mental health to enhance understanding of young people and the risk and protective factors that contribute to their mental health and well-being.

Dr. Robert Illback, President and CEO of REACH Evaluation , serves as the Deputy CEO of Headstrong.  In that capacity he has led the development of the Jigsaw model and the implementation of that model in communities across the nation.  Other members of REACH Evaluation have provided extensive support to the initiative in the areas of needs assessment, planning, and evaluation.  Skills employed for this purpose have included interviewing, group facilitation, resource mapping, data system design, data analysis, reporting analytics, videography,  and GIS mapping,

The leadership provided by Dr. Illback has contributed to international attention being given to the Jigsaw model and the accomplishments to date.  The planning and evaluation support provided by REACH Evaluation has strengthened the buy-in of local community leaders and of the youth who are the focus of the services.   Finally, the planning process has led to implementation plans that are driven by current needs, directed toward a shared vision, evidence-based, and culturally relevant.