Working with young people | For teachers, coaches and youth workers

Working with Young People

This section is for professionals or volunteers who work with young people. Here you can read about building mental health literacy and how to promote positive mental health.

Jigsaw, in collaboration with ESCI Education Support Centres Ireland, has developed a number of interactive online training courses for teachers.

This unique training, based on the latest research, was developed in collaboration with young people, teachers and schools. The courses are self-directed, and provides ongoing opportunities for reflection. Once you sign up using an email address, log in and complete the courses at a time and pace that suits you.

Every teacher should avail of this free course. It provides participants with a clear understanding of mental health and the crucial impact that school life can have on the mental health and wellbeing of young people.

Daragh McDaid, Director, Sligo Education Centre, on behalf of ESCI, Education Support Centres Ireland

The Mental Health eLearning Programme for Teachers is proudly endorsed by ESCI – Education Support Centres, Ireland. On completion you will be able to access a Junior and Senior Cycle classroom based workshop presentations with interactive resources.

Why is it important?

We believe to create meaningful change it is important that we focus not just on the individual young person. We must also focus on the systems and contexts in which they live.

We know that for some young people school can contribute to their sense of distress. For many others it can be a place that is supportive and creates a sense of belonging. In that respect, teachers are in a really unique position to build and maintain relationships with young people. Supporting young people’s mental health isn’t the sole responsibility of teachers. However, they do have a great opportunity to be ‘one good adult’ for many of the students that they work with.

Teachers may not always be aware at the time of the nature and scale of the impact that they have on their students.

It is helpful to remember that the potential is always there to have a positive impact on the way a young person feels about themselves.

It is helpful to remember that the potential is always there to have a positive impact on the way a young person feels about themselves.

Gillian O’Brien, Clinical Director, Jigsaw

What do I do next?

The Mental Health eLearning Programme for Teachers, proudly endorsed by ESCI – Education Support Centres Ireland.

This 2 hour online training course introduces teachers to youth mental health. This course has a specific focus on the school environment and is suitable for all second level teachers.

Mental health Programme for Teachers graphicThe aims of this course are:

  • To build the mental health literacy and skills of teachers
  • To encourage teachers to think about their role in promoting youth mental health
  • To support teachers with ideas for whole school mental health promotion.

Finishing this course, teachers will receive a certificate of completion and be able to access a Junior and Senior Cycle classroom based workshop presentations with interactive resources.

>> To access these courses, please click here and sign up to our eLearning portal for those who work or volunteer with young people.

It was realistic. The course designers/writers know schools, students and teachers, this is very evident and this is why the course is really effective.

Teacher participant in pilot test of programme

Self-care for teachers

This 45 minute online course will introduce teachers to the concept of self-care. It covers the importance of self-care in the life of a teacher, and ways to ensure it is a part of their teaching.

Participants will:Self-care for Teachers poster

  • Have a greater understanding of what self-care is
  • Have a greater understanding of the importance of self-care in their role as a teacher
  • Explore the challenges to supporting self-care practice
  • Be more aware of their own self-care needs
  • Be able to develop their own self-care plan.

>> To access these courses, please click here and sign up to our eLearning portal for those who work or volunteer with young people.

Young woman's face

One Good Adult

Young people tell us that One Good Adult can make a huge difference in a young person’s life. Simply someone who is there, who is willing to listen when they need to talk.

A group of young people's faces looking down

What we mean by the term mental health

There is no one simple and agreed way of understanding what we call 'mental health'.

Connect illustration of phone

5 a day for mental health

We’re all familiar with the concept of eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day to support our physical health. Here are 5 simple things we can do every day to support our mental health