Calls to protect youth mental health services in Lucan

by Padraig Conlon

Two local TDs are calling on the government to protect mental health services for young people in the Lucan area.

Speaking in the Dail recently, Fianna Fail Dublin Mid West TD, John Curran asked Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to protect Lucan Youth Mental Health Services.

“We have recently learned that Jigsaw is to close from January 2020, with the services being relocated to Tallaght,” Deputy Curran said.

“The service that had been in Clondalkin will now be offered on an outreach basis, if a premises can be found, for one day a week. This is insufficient.”

Deputy Curran said the removal of the highly need service, which has been available in the area for many years, has left the local community concerned and feeling “abandoned.”

Sinn Fein Dublin Mid West TD, Eoin O Broin also requested that the decision to close the local Jigsaw service be reconsidered.

“The situation is now critical,” he said.

“Deputy Curran, Deputy Gino Kenny and I met the Minister of State, Deputy Jim Daly, some months ago on this.

“He guaranteed there would be no reduction in the service provided to the community of north Clondalkin.

“It is an area with very high levels of deprivation, social and economic inequality, self-harm and, unfortunately, suicide.

“We were promised by Jigsaw when Deputy Curran, Deputy Gino Kenny and I met that there would be widespread consultation before any decision would be made, and then we were told in writing that the service was closing and that outreach would be provided.

“The Jigsaw premises is due to close early next year. Like Deputy Curran, I urge the Minister to take closure off the table.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he thanked both local Deputies for raising this important issue.

“I do not know the circumstances of the particular Jigsaw service the Deputies mentioned,” he said.

“I will be meeting the Minister of State, Deputy Jim Daly, on a different matter this evening and I will tell him what was raised today. I will revert to the Deputies after that.”

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