Making More Mental Health

Making More Mental Health: Affordable and accessible mental health care for all

Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Ireland
Project Stage:
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

MyMind is an affordable and accessible mental health care service with a self-referral model, that allows clients to book appointments online or over the phone within 72 hours of first contact with the office. MyMind offers a pay scale to clients, whereby unemployed or full time students are able to avail of a benefit rate of €20 per session. With offices in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, MyMind helps fill the national gap in mental health services.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

It is estimated that 70,000 people experience mental health difficulties each year in Ireland. With higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression, the range of affordable and accessible options for those in need of support is becoming more and more limited. Depending on where you live, services can be poor or non-existent and with the public system struggling to cope with demand many people are waiting up to 18 months to see a consultant. Alternatively, private services can be expensive, often leaving those most in need feeling isolated and helpless. With estimates showing that mental ill health costs the State 3% of GDP each year due to loss of productivity, this isn’t just a personal challenge but a national one too.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Using web-based and in-person supports MyMind delivers early intervention and prevention, resulting in substantial improvements for clients. A key component of the MyMind model is that clients are able to see a professional within a few days of the initial contact. With around 100 psychotherapists, psychologists and counsellors volunteering and working with MyMind, appointments are able to be offered at a discounted rate for the unwaged or full time students. MyMind also provides a workplace initiative - MyMind@Work - that promotes wellbeing and resilience amongst staff through a series of workshops and seminars.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The most striking evidence for the efficacy of MyMind's solution is the rate of growth it has witnessed in the 7 years since it commenced operations. This growth, on average 30% per annum, is due to the demand for the service and thanks to the availability and willingness of therapists to volunteer their time and expertise to give back to the community. In 2013, MyMind provided an average of 174 appointments per week as well as offering 24/7 online support. In a recent survey MyMind found that 90% of responders said they would recommend their services to a friend. Their ability to offer affordable sessions means that clients who would otherwise be unable to avail of mental health services can get the support they need.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

MyMind aims to maximise the potential of its existing early intervention mental health services, by maintaining its high average of sessions per client and keeping the waiting period for a first appointment down to 72 hours. MyMind also plans to expand its network of services, by opening a centre in Galway in Q4 2014, partnering with 5 companies in 2014 for MyMind@Work initiative, and adding mental health education services to our online supports. Through increasing our marketing spend and developing partnerships with mental health advocacy organisations, MyMind will increase its client base. This growth of existing services along with our service expansion will allow MyMind to reach financial breakeven by 2016, making the organisation self-sustaining. MyMind's success can act as a model for mental health social enterprises globally.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The HSE - Health Service Executive - which is over capacity. Clients face long waiting lists, and the public sector prioritises crisis cases over early intervention, which can allow mild to moderate mental health difficulties develop into more serious problems. Private practitioners - most of them are financially out of reach for low income earners or the unemployed. There are also charities that provide counselling and psychotherapy services, however these are often fully dependent on public grants, and can have narrow service provision and expertise along with a limited capacity. Certain charitable organisations are only able to provide services for specific circumstances such as eating disorders, or are only able to provide group support. MyMind allows those experiencing mild to moderate mental health difficulties to bypass waiting lists, and access affordable one to one services.


Since Boehringer Ingelheim's initial involvement with MyMind through their "Making More Health" initiative, several members of BI's management team have committed to supporting different elements of MyMind's strategic developments. A sales training workshop for the MyMind team has been offered by BI's national sales manager in order to advance the progress of MyMind@Work. Additionally, BI have supported MyMind's efforts to promote their services amongst GPs, by providing their sales representatives with MyMind's promotional materials. For larger events like MyMind's upcoming launch of its Limerick service, BI are providing communication support to help promote its services to a new geographical base.
About the Lead Co-Creation Partners
Boehringer Ingelheim
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Type of organization (e.g. NGO, association, not-for-profit, foundation, social enterprise)

Social enterprise

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Organization Name

Boehringer Ingelheim

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Basic Info
Project Starting Year


Primary European Country where this Project is creating social impact

, DB, Dublin, Cork, Limerick

Additional European countries where this Project is creating social impact


Select the category that best fits the type of your project:

New products & services: Entries in this category develop and offer essentials product and services that address needs currently unmet.

What awards or honors has the project received?

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Impact Award 2013; Arthur Guinness Foundation Award 2012; Ireland Ashoka Fellow 2011.

Project Summary
Co-Creation Model: Tell us about your main strategic partners and how the partnership truly create value. For each Partner please include its type (business/social/public), its name, a short description, its key motivation to participate in the co-creation project, and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project. Please follow the format displayed below:

-Partner 1 Boehringer Ingelheim
-Type of partner [business/social/public] Business
-Short description sentence [Max 25 words/partner] The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 145 affiliates and more than 42,000 employees.
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner] Social responsibility is a core element of Boehringer Ingelheim’s culture, and collaborating with MyMind on its mission to provide affordable and accessible mental health across Ireland fits in with BI's commitment to sustainable health solutions.
-Key contributions in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner] In 2013, Boehringer Ingleheim provided MyMind with an "Executive in Residence" - an experienced BI employee who helped support MyMind CEO Krystian Fikert over a six month residency in MyMind HQ.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact. Please specify using qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. # of indirect and direct beneficiaries); help us understand how this solution truly makes a difference.

MyMind has provided 6,708 clients with face to face appointments since its inception in 2006. Their online service e-MyMind, which provides free of charge email support to clients, saw a growth from 1,130 emails from clients in 2012, to 2,584 in 2013. In January 2014, they opened their fourth centre in Ireland, in Limerick city. MyMind now has physical sites in Dublin North, Dublin South, Cork and Limerick.They have achieved an outstanding market presence and a respectable reputation when it comes to mental health services providers in Ireland as a direct result of the positive impact they have caused in the local communities. In Q4 of 2014 MyMind hopes to open a premises in Galway, further expanding their capacity to accommodate face to face appointments. MyMind is also developing and expanding its corporate initiative - MyMind@Work

Funding: How is your project financial supported? [select all that apply]

Foundations, Businesses, National government, Customers.

Sustainability Plan: Has your project already reached financial sustainability? If not, what is this solutio’s plan to ensure financial sustainability? Do the main partners have enough stake to sustain the solution? If this project requires limited budget, how will other resources be secured to maintain or grow this work?

At present, MyMind is able to generate up to 70% of the income required to cover its expenditure, with 30% dependency on external grant support. It is able to keep costs low by employing a mix of volunteers and contractors to provide therapeutic services, and increasing their number of full fee paying clients, and has been able to increase the level of income it receives through expanding its services. With the support of its partner Boehringer Ingelheim, MyMind is able to access a range of stakeholders in the medical community that it otherwise would not be able to reach. BI's sales representatives have been able to promote MyMind's services across a wide network, facilitating the growth of its face to face services. Additionally, BI is aiding MyMind in the development and promotion of MyMind@Work, a workplace initiative that will generate increased revenue for MyMind.

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the Partners to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

To commemorate its 125 year anniversary in 2010, Boehringer Ingelheim partnered with Ashoka to develop “Making More Health,” a program that supports innovative health care initiatives that complement BI’s core mission of social responsibility. With BI eager to ensure that any help they provided would be for health care initiatives that truly deliver services to people who would otherwise be unable to access them, they quickly became impressed by the innovative work that MyMind was conducting in an area as vital as mental health. BI began to look for ways that they, as a big business, could support the needs of a growing social entreprise. After identifying business development as an area that MyMind was under-resourced in, BI committed to providing MyMind with a marketing executive-in-residence for 6 months.

About the Co-Creation
Barriers: What main barriers may you have encountered to co-create during the creation and implementation of the project and how did you try to overcome them?

The main barrier experienced during the early stages of co-creation was trying to find the optimum way for BI to support MyMind in a way that complemented the latter's drive towards achieving financial sustainability. Rather than providing a once-off support that would not have a lasting impact, BI identified MyMind's limited business development expertise as an area where they could have a significant strategic influence. Thalita Guimaraes, a marketing executive from Boehringer Ingelheim Brazil, was nominated as an executive in residence for MyMind, and spent 6 months in their Dublin headquarters developing a business plan that formalised MyMind's targets and projections. Since this successful venture, all shared entreprises between BI and MyMind have incorporated the former's strengths and capabilities with the latter's strategic objectives.

Governance: What is the type of the relationship between the partners? (e.g. joint venture, contractual relationship, joint project...)

The "Making More Health" executive in residence program established a contractual relationship between MyMind and Boehringer Ingelheim.

Interaction model: How is the project a transformative partnership? How is the interaction transforming the partnering organizations and their employees/ leadership in terms of creating a new vision, new management practices, new skills and new organizational structures? Please provide for concrete examples

The collaboration between MyMind and BI has been transformative in several ways. For MyMind, it has matched their dynamic work with a large, established company, allowing it to benefit from BI's network in the health care community, and its strategic and managerial capacity. Equally, the management of BI has benefited from viewing the challenges and opportunities faced by a small innovative business in bringing their much needed services to scale. For example, BI has provided MyMind with mentorship in specific areas such as communications, providing MyMind with expertise in how to promote the launch of their Cork centre.

How did you find out about this competition?

As an Irish Ashoka Fellow (awarded in 2011) CEO of MyMind Krystian Fikert was notified by the Ashoka Ireland team.