A friend recommended Jigsaw to me. I didn’t know what it would be like. I was suffering from depression and I had self-harmed. I had thoughts of dropping out of school and just getting away. Once I joined the Jigsaw Kerry Youth Advisory Panel in June 2010, I found I was able to talk, and that was very grounding. I no longer needed to bottle up feelings. I immediately felt a sense of belonging and a feeling of being safe. I have made countless new friends and found a community of people that really helped . It has been a brilliant experience for me.
I learned I was not alone, I wasn’t the only person feeling this way, and a weight was lifted off my shoulders. It was a huge relief. I know a lot of guys feel the same way and keep it to themselves. Jigsaw gave me the fuel to go on. I really perked up. My confidence has gone up ten-fold and I have become more outward in myself. Before Jigsaw I was also eating lots, now I am eating more healthily, so both my physical and mental health have improved.
I have grown up hugely and moved from having no hopes or aspirations to a good plan for myself. Jigsaw gave me that extra push and showed me how to handle situations better. Of course I still get low, but I can handle it now. I got a lot of help from the mindfulness training. I am not just another brick in the wall. Everyone needs a good foundation and Jigsaw has the opportunity to help so many people to have more positive mental health.
It’s amazing seeing the change from whispering about mental health to having it discussed out in the open. In my school alone, I was asked to host a Jigsaw stand for first years. And the reaction of their parents was brilliant. They were excited to see this service available in our community.
Jigsaw taught me there was no point in hurting myself. Now I feel I am able to help others and direct friends to people who can help. Jigsaw is more than an organisation. It’s a life changing experience.
- Bobby, 18