The past 12 months have been incredibly hard. The list of things impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic is long, but it has been a very difficult year for Irish students.
The Leaving Cert students of 2020 and now 2021 have been messed around so much. And that’s also not to discredit other students in every year, you’ve all had it tough.
It’s been hard to be isolated from friends and struggle to complete school work at home. It’s been a tough time for mental health and you should not feel bad about that.
If you are struggling a bit (or a lot) we have put together a list of some of the resources and help available to you. From texting to counselling there’s a number of things on offer, so if you need it please do reach out.
Here’s some of the mental health services and supports available for students…
The HSE Website
The HSE Mental Health Supports and Services page is full to the brim of free and paid for supports for people of all ages. There’s a lot of information about supports available on that page for a variety of issues. If you’re looking for some help or just an outlet to let yourself talk things through, start by looking there.
Other Mental Health Supports Leaving Cert And Students
We asked our columnist and 6th year student, Amy McLoughlin, about other services that she knows about for students and she gave us the list below saying “the following are a few I know as a young person are there should I need them“…
This is a free 24/7 text service, providing everything from a calming chat to immediate support for people going through mental health or emotional crisis.
This is a great service as texting can feel like much less pressure than talking over the phone. And just to mention again, this is free and available 24 hours a day.
Text HELLO to 50808 for immediate support through a text conversation with real people in the moment.
Visit www.text50808.ie for more information.
Telephone and text-based support counselling for people who are suicidal or engaging in self-harm.
Freephone 1800 247 247 every day 24 hours a day.
Text HELP to 51444 – standard message rates apply.
Jigsaw offer a listening ear, and give expert advice and support, online and in person, to young people across Ireland, aged 12 – 25 years-old.
You can also get in touch with Jigsaw clinicians by text message and email and ask for a return support call. Jigsaw.ie also offer a talk online service, which includes a Live Chat, Group Chat or you can ask questions about mental health anonymously.
Contact details and opening hours:
Freephone 1800 JIGSAW (544729)
Monday to Friday, 1pm- 5pm
Text ‘call me’ to 086 180 3880
stating your preferred time for a call back from a Jigsaw Clinician, Monday to Friday, 1pm – 5pm.
you can email anytime, clinicians will respond from Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.
If you are looking for an urgent response please visit ‘need urgent help‘.
Another great service available is Childline.
Childline is open every day and is for all children and young people up to the age of 18 in Ireland.
You can talk with Childline in confidence, about anything that might be on your mind, and they won’t judge you, give out to you or tell you what to do. They’re there to listen and we’ll help you to figure out the best solution for you.
Also, you don’t have to have a problem to talk to Childline – you might just want a chat to let go of all those feelings you’re keeping in, and that’s perfectly fine.
You can contact Childline for free at any time of the day or night by calling 1800 66 66 66.
You can also chat with them live on childline.ie, or, if you prefer to text, you can contact Childline by sending a text to 50101.
Local And Regional Youth Services
There are also a number of great youth services around the country, so check in your locality to see what’s available.
There are a number of mental health supports for Leaving Cert students, and for all other students as well. The reason they’re there is to help, so please don’t be afraid to reach out and talk. Talking about the issues you are facing is an incredibly brave thing to do.