Organisation:MyMindCharity Reg no. :CHY 176001. Tell us about the issue(s) this social enterprise is tackling and why it's important
2. How does the social enterprise go about tackling these issues?
- Why was the social enterprise set up? What is it trying to change or do? Why is it important to do this? For decades now, there has been a significant shortage of accessible and low cost mental health solutions available to those who are struggling to maintain good mental health. This is why MyMind was established in 2006, so that everyone has easy and timely access to affordable mental health services. At MyMind we are big believers in the power of early intervention and believe that this leads to better long-term mental health and prevents crisis situations from developing. There is a significant gap between public and private mental health services: public services have long waiting lists, an inefficient referral system and mainly deal with acute mental health crises while private services are expensive and there can be a lack of regulation and quality control. MyMind bridges this gap.
3. Tell us about a case where the social enterprise has made a positive difference.
- Explain your social enterprise 's approach to solving the issues you identified in your previous answer. If it has had to alter its activities in response to COVID-19, how did it do this?MyMind provides face-to-face and online counselling and psychotherapy services for mild to moderate mental health issues to adults, children, adolescents, couples and families. We have a team of over 140 mental health professionals who provide services in over 15 languages using a variety of therapeutic methods. As MyMind is a social enterprise, we charge for our services, but the fee is based on a person’s employment status with surpluses from MyMind’s regular fee, highly affordable at €50, being used to subsidise the cost of lower fee services. In 2020, and COVID-19, MyMind was in a fortunate position to have an online service ready to deploy and was quickly able to move to a full online service with almost no disruption to clients. Over 75% of our 2020 service was delivered by video.
4. What has the overall impact of this work been and how do you measure it?
- This is your chance to talk about impact in qualitative terms. Provide a case study to illustrate the impact of the social enterprise’s work. We will accept anonymous case studies if you need to protect the identity of a service user or individuals under 18 years of age. You can include a quote or endorsement if you wish.Since it was established in 2006, MyMind has helped more than 35,000 individual clients. In recent years there has been significant growth in demand for our services, in part due to better awareness of the importance of maintaining good mental health and also due to the lessening of the stigma surrounding mental health. Since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic we have delivered more counselling sessions than ever with a 25% increase in demand in 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19 restrictions. Over 35,000 sessions were delivered throughout 2020 in comparison to 28,000 in 2019 and 20,000 the previous year. This represents support for approx. 19,500 people over the past three years. “I found it very helpful and beneficial to me. I enjoyed talking about my feelings, what I would like for my mental wellbeing. I’m dealing with the isolation [of Covid-19] and that’s the main thing I’m interested in.” — Maura, MyMind Client, 2020
5. What is your social enterprise’s approach to earning income?
- How would you describe the overall impact of your organisation’s work? What measures do you use to know if you have been successful at achieving your goals? How do you know what to improve or change in your work? Please include as much evidence as possible to demonstrate your impact.The main measure we use to make sure that our clients are making progress is the qualitative measure known as Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (SWEMWBS) which monitors the mental wellbeing of our clients. With SWEMWBS clients answer a series of questions at the start, during the course of and at the end of their therapeutic journey which allows us to assess changes in their mental wellbeing. We use this data to help us measure the impact of our service from an outcomes perspective. Overall, our data from this metric shows that clients report an improvement in mental wellbeing during their time with MyMind, and this is the most important impact measure for us. In addition, various studies such as the OECD/EU Commission bi-annual report Health at a Glance: Europe 2020, have estimated that 20-25% of the population will have mental health issues at some point in their lives. Since MyMind was founded in 2006, almost 35,000 people have used our services and demand for our services is now approaching 45,000 appointments for 2021. We also assess outputs by measuring the number of completed appointments and the growth year on year in the number of people using the service.
6. How does your organisation grow its customer base?
- How does your social enterprise earn income? What have you done to maximise the contribution that earned income can make towards the cost of your service? How does this approach differentiate your work from other approaches?We provide services to a range of clients. As a social enterprise, there is a sliding-rate charge for our services, but the fee charged is based on ability to pay, with a €20 fee for a one-to-one counselling session for clients who do not have an income from employment e.g. unemployed, pensioners, etc. Surpluses from our regular fee service, which itself is affordable at €50, are then used along with grant support, to subsidise the cost to provide the lower fee services. 35-40% of appointments are charged at €20/€30 each year. In addition to some HSE grant aid, and supported by funding partners, e.g. COVID-19 Project with Sláintecare and the HSE, free services are delivered to specific groups. Our overheads are tightly controlled and we work to maximise the contribution of earned income.
7. How can the public support your work?
- Describe the marketing and sales techniques and strategies you put in place to attract and retain customers to purchase goods or services from your organisation.We are busy on social media and ensure that our website is up to date and accessible, especially for new clients. Word-of-mouth plays an important part in our ability to attract new clients and many of our clients come to us by referral from a friend or family member. In November 2020 we began a series of free webinars presented by our therapists covering a range of topics including e.g. loneliness and isolation. We continuously seek opportunities to collaborate with public bodies and NGOs to reach new clients. In 2020, we started working with FE and HE education institutions to provide student counselling services. More recently, we have become more proactive in public relations activities and have begun to send out more press releases about our work which has brought good coverage.
8. Describe how your organisation is transparent and accountable
- Do you need volunteers? Do you fundraise? Can the public share your story? Give them a call to action.We would like people to engage with our social media activity and the advice section on our website which has some really useful articles containing great tips and insights for those who are struggling with various aspects of poor mental health. Sharing these resources would help us and allow people to pass the word about the high-quality, low-cost nature of our service and that help is available. We are always happy to receive donations towards free appointments for those in need of support but who cannot currently afford even the low-cost sessions. This can be done through our website. A donation of €20 can provide one free counselling session to someone in need. We would ask the public to Spread the Word: Mental Help Support is available if you are struggling with mental health issues.
- For example, do you publish your annual accounts online? Are you compliant with the Charities Regulator's Charities Governance Code? Do you use the Charities Regulator’s Fundraising Principles?At MyMind, we take our responsibilities to transparency and accountability very seriously and are committed to the highest standards of governance. We publish our Annual Report and Audited Financial Statements on our website. We are currently working towards full compliance with the Charities Governance Code. Given the specific nature of our work, we are fully compliant with all regulations in respect of privacy and data protection. We adhere to best practice in clinical governance. Our mental health professionals are appropriately qualified, accredited and supervised, are fully Garda vetted, and are also obliged to complete annual CPD training. We maintain detailed written policies and procedures on all aspects of our operations and conduct regular reviews and updates to these.