Making More Mental Health

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

Dublin, Cork, Limerick, IrelandIreland
Year Founded:
2006
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$500,000 - $1 million
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. MyMind offers a pay scale to clients, so the unemployed and full time students are able to avail of discounted rates. We have a multidisciplinary team working in over 10 languages.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if technology could be harnessed to make mental health accessible for all.
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. Public services can be over-stretched with many people are waiting up to 18 months to see a professional. The private sector is often too expensive for people to access.

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

MyMind makes mental health support affordable and accessible, so that clients can avail of early intervention services, 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 over 80 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 at Work - that promotes wellbeing and resilience amongst staff through a series of workshops and seminars. MyMind also offers services online through email, live chat and videoconference.

Awards

GSK Impact Award 2015; Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Impact Award 2013; Arthur Guinness Foundation Award 2012; Ireland Ashoka Fellow 2011; Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Elevator Award 2011; Cathal Ryan Scholarship in 2010; David Manley Award 2009
Impact: How does it Work

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

MyMind removes the barriers that prevent people from accessing support when mental health difficulties emerge. By employing a large team of professionals, we are able to make appointments available within 72 hours of a client contacting our centre. This means that clients are able to talk to a professional before their mental health difficulty escalates into something more severe. Our affordable pay scale allows people who are not in full time employment to avail of talk therapy at a time when it may be most valuable, but expensive to access through the private sector. Removing these barriers has a huge long term impact on the mental wellbeing of our clients and the country as a whole.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Since MyMind’s foundation in 2006, the demand for our services has grown year on year. In 2014, we provided 12,283 face to face appointments across our four centres nationally. Our MyMind Online team responded to queries from 3,812 people last year, and MyMind at Work reached 583 participants. By the end of 2015, we will have had a direct impact on over 26,000 people. Each positive mental health interaction with an individual has a knock-on effect on their friends, families, colleagues and communities, exponentially increasing the indirect impact of MyMind’s work. MyMind’s business model is built to grow towards self-sustainability. The more our organisation grows, and the more clients we support, the closer we move towards being independent from external funders. We plan to grow our organisation, and the number of clients we see by 30% over the next two years.

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

MyMind operates under a social enterprise model. The revenue that we receive from clients who are full time employees is used to support our reduced rates for clients who are out of work or full time students. This model is self-sustainable and replicable. Mental health difficulties occur across all populations, and the challenge of providing early intervention services is being addressed by all countries. The MyMind model is replicable globally, and can complement public services in a self-sustainable manner. We intend to open a new centre in Galway in 2016.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

MyMind operates under a social enterprise model. The revenue that we receive from clients who are full time employees and eligible for our full fee rate of €50 a session for an appointment is used to support our reduced rates for clients who are out of work or full time students. As we continue to grow the number of full fee clients we provide services for, we work towards self sustainability.

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.
Team

Founding Story

MyMind founder and CEO Krystian Fikert originally trained as a clinical psychologist in Poland and moved to Ireland in 2004 to work for Google. His position with Google as a search quality associate exposed him to the number of people who were looking for access to mental health professionals and advice on how to access support. These results made him aware of the lack of community based early intervention mental health services. Krystian saw that technology could provide an opportunity for innovation within mental health and used his experience as a psychologist and in Google to establish MyMind.

Team

The MyMind operational team consists of four full time and one part time employee, along with the CEO. In the headquarters, there is a full time communications officer, a full time employee with responsibility for finance and branding, and a full time employee with responsibility for HR and administration. Our Cork centre is managed full time, and there is a part time manager in our Limerick centre. Our board has seven members covering the following areas of expertise: legal, finance, strategic, communications, health, and marketing.
CO-CREATION IDEA: Please offer a brief description of how you imagine a win-win partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim to better serve unmet needs in health. (Hint: Please mention the underlying business model envisioned that would make such a partnership sustainable.)

While MyMind has established itself as an integral part of the solution to the gap between public and private mental health care in Ireland, we struggle to develop and maintain relationships with traditional health services. The support of BI could provide us with access to networks of GPs who could be made aware of our services. This connection would boost referrals, helping grow our service, leading towards our ultimate goal of achieving self-sustainability. Additionally, MyMind would hope to benefit from BI’s strategic and managerial capacity. This partnership would be mutually beneficial as the management of BI could benefit from viewing the challenges and opportunities faced by a small innovative business.

NEEDS: Based on you response above, please specify which of the following resources, operations or expertise by Boehringer Ingelheim you imagine leveraging to actualize the proposed co-creation opportunity. Please check all that apply. (Hint: while financing is often critical to scale, we are also interested in understanding what other assets or expertise could be leveraged).

Relationships/New Contacts, Marketing/Communications Support.

EXPLANATION OF NEEDS: Please explain your choices in more detail.

As identified in the co-creation idea, MyMind believes Boehringer Ingelheim would be able to help us develop relationships with GPs who could act as referral partners for clients seeking mental health services. For this to work, we would need support not only to make contact with this network, but also in developing a strategy to successfully communicate the benefits of our services to them.

OFFER: What are the main assets you may contribute in a co-creation partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim that would better serve unmet needs in health?

Deep understanding of an unmet need in a specific market/context, Insights into pricing and financing of health products/services.

FOCUS AREAS: Which of the following best describes the main focus of your project? (select all that apply)

Improving the affordability of healthcare (e.g., microinsurance, reducing the economic cost of care), Packaging of health products and services to address needs currently unmet.

SECONDARY ENTRY FORM
Please share what your organisation and Boehringer Ingelheim will Co-Create together

Through collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim, we would hope co-create an effective channel of promotion of early intervention mental health services. While MyMind has established itself as an integral part of the solution to the gap between public and private mental health care in Ireland, we struggle to develop and maintain relationships with traditional health services. The support of BI could provide us with access to networks of GPs who could be made aware of our services. This connection would boost referrals, helping grow our service, leading towards our ultimate goal of achieving self-sustainability. Additionally, MyMind’s professionals could provide services for BI’s patients who are suffering from chronic disease and terminal illness.

Please specify what your Co-Creation will result in:

a new distribution channel.

If you selected "other" above, please explain:
Please provide a 1-2 sentence summary of your Co-Creation idea

Through using Boehringer Ingelheim’s relationships with GP channels to promote MyMind’s mental health services, we will be able to reach an increased number of clients who are in the early stages of mental health difficulties.

How does this project link to the core mission of your organisation?

MyMind’s mission is to make mental health services affordable and accessible to all. This project would help expand our reach through making more clients aware of our services.

Beyond social impact, how does this project link to Boehringer Ingelheim’s core business?

Boehringer Ingelheim’s sales representatives are in regular contact with GPs, providing them with information around BI’s various pharmaceutical products. Making GPs aware of the fast and affordable services that MyMind can offer to their patients complements BI’s existing work in this field. BI’s sales reps would be providing additional information to GPs around fast and easy access to mental health services that would be particularly relevant to their patients.

What are the specific inputs and actions that each side will contribute to this Co-Creation idea based on each of your unique competencies and experiences?

My organization will contribute:
- The design of leaflets and promotional packs detailing the services that we provide particularly made with GPs in mind.

Boehringer Ingelheim will contribute:
- The active promotion of MyMind through their sales representatives meeting with the Irish network of GPs.

Please describe the potential revenue model for this Co-Creation idea.

MyMind operates under a social enterprise model. We offer our services on a pay scale based upon each client’s employment status. All revenue generated is reinvested into the organisation. This means that the more clients we see, the more revenue we generate and the further we move from a reliance on external funding.

What possible risks or challenges do you foresee?

There may be some resistance from the network of GPs about MyMind’s services. As a non-medical model, MyMind focusses on early intervention and talk therapy, which some GPs may not be receptive to.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your Co-Creation idea?

This co-creation idea is a good opportunity for both MyMind to expand their reach to new clients. It’s also a good opportunity for BI to provide more support and information to GPs beyond the medicine that they supply.

How much input do you hope to receive from Boehringer Ingelheim?

I’d like to implement together.

If you selected "other" above, please explain:
Besides Boehringer Ingelheim, what other types of partners might be valuable to carrying out your Co-Creation idea, and why?