MyMind has given support to 35,000 clients

As MyMind celebrates a major milestone this year, 15 years in operation, Gráinne O’Rourke, Head of Communications at the registered charity, tells us about their work and encourages the public to mind their mental health
MyMind has given support to 35,000 clients

Mental Health Service Provider MyMind celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.  Pictured is MyMind CEO Krystian Fiketr (left) and Tim Griffiths, CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland. Picture: Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland

MYMIND recently celebrated its 15th anniversary, and are very proud of their achievements to date. During this time MyMind has supported over 35,000 people to better mental health through its services.

Getting help and staying connected is essential to maintaining good mental health. Talking to a qualified professional is a proven and effective way of dealing with problems of stress or anxiety. MyMind has always believed that maintaining good mental health is just as important as maintaining physical health.

MyMind is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity, founded in 2006, to provide affordable and accessible mental health services across Ireland. MyMind believe in the importance of early intervention, and provide a service that is available to everyone, without the need for a GP or other referral. Providing face-to-face services from their five centres in Dublin (three locations), Cork and Limerick. Also providing, an online service by video or telephone call which covers the entire country, and has been an enormous help to people during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

MyMind help with a wide range of client issues such as anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, addiction, relationship issues, etc. 

Their mental health professionals use a variety of approaches with their clients as well as including multilingual services, proudly providing services in more than 15 languages.

MyMind provide services to individuals, couples and families and work with clients from as young as four years old.

As MyMind is a social enterprise, there is a charge for their services, but the fee charged is based on your ability to pay, with a starting fee of €20 for a one-to-one counselling session for clients who do not have an income from employment e.g. are claiming two social benefits such as the unemployed, pensioners, etc. This also includes part-time students.

MyMind’s regular fee service is based on a person being in full-time employment, and is currently charged at €50. Surpluses from this fee, which is seen as very affordable, in addition to grant supports including from the HSE, are then used to subsidise the cost to provide the lower fee services.

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 their 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.

CHALLENGES OF THE PANDEMIC

Clearly, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a ravaging effect on mental health in this country. This has also pushed demand for mental health services even further. From the fear of contracting the virus to losing your job or suffering isolation, loneliness or bereavement, it has been a very challenging time for us all. Now, more than ever, the importance of minding our mental health is very clear. It’s clear too that the issues presented by the pandemic are not new but the pandemic has acted almost as a catalyst to show precisely the level of support that is needed, but which has unfortunately all too often been sorely missing.

In 2020, with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, MyMind was in a fortunate position to have an online service ready to deploy. Having already made that investment in technology, MyMind was quickly able to move to a full online service with almost no disruption to clients. 

More than 75% of 2020 service was delivered either by video or telephone and they have seen a similar pattern in 2021. 

This acceptance of online services across society has truly opened MyMinds services to the entire country, which means they can now can reach more people and make this high-quality, affordable service more widely available. Expecting that even as restrictions ease, some people will prefer to stay online and work with their therapist that way. There are certain three advantages to the online process as it means that as the client you are saved from a potentially long commute, in addition to which you are in the safety and comfort of your own home.

As part of the Government response to the Pandemic, in June 2020, MyMind secured funding from Sláintecare and the HSE Community Operations Mental Health service to provide free online appointments to those affected by the Pandemic. To date, we have delivered over 17,000 free online appointments under this project helping over 3,000 people. This project will continue until the end of the year.

HOW DOES SOMEONE GET IN TOUCH?

The easiest way is to first visit their website at www.mymind.org to get an idea of the different types of therapy available and the range of therapists who deliver the counselling. At present, MyMind has over 120 therapists offering a wide range of therapeutic approaches. To book an appointment go to https://mymind.org/register or email hq@mymind.org to get specific answers to any questions that you may have.

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