Sunday February 23, 2020

The gap between public and private services is a real problem.

‘It is far too hard to access mental health services and this has to change’ says Krystian Fikert, Founder and CEO of MyMind.

23rd January, 2020

What's your name?

Krystian Fikert

What position do you hold?

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MyMind, a non-profit social enterprise providing affordable and accessible mental health counselling services.

See www.mymind.org to find out more.

What are your day to day responsibilities?

MyMind offers its services from 5 centres in Dublin, Cork and Limerick and online, with over 120 mental health professionals who are supported by a clinical and administration team. We provide high-quality counselling and psychotherapy services with a focus on early intervention.

I am responsible for developing and executing MyMind’s strategy, managing key stakeholder relationships, advocating for improvements in mental health services and leading day-to-day operations.

I also oversee the MyMind’s technology development strategy. We use technology both to offer online counselling sessions and to improve the way we engage with our clients and allow them to have a better experience.

What is your professional background?

I am a trained clinical psychologist and will complete an Executive MBA this year. I’ve also undertaken social entrepreneurship training programmes at INSEAD Business School in Paris and have been an ongoing member of INSEAD’s Social Entrepreneur in Residence programme since 2015.In 2010, I received the Captain Cathal Ryan Scholarship, which allowed me to visit and learn from multiple mental health services around the world. In 2011, I was named an Ashoka Fellow, joining a global network of social entrepreneurs.

I have also received social awards from bodies including Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, the Social Innovation Fund, the Ireland Funds and the Arthur Guinness Award.

In 2019 MyMind was awarded Best Social Enterprise of the Year at the All Ireland Community & Council Awards.

You are speaking at the 2020 National Health Summit. What are you speaking about?

I will talk about MyMind’s model of sustainable, community-based and online mental health services which we have designed to be accessible and affordable to everyone. I will focus in particular on the vital role that technology plays in the cost effectiveness of developing and running MyMind’s services.

What main challenges do you see for the healthcare sector in Ireland?

The gap between public and private services is a real problem.

In the public sector we see lengthy waiting times, an inefficient model for GPs to refer people and a service that seems to be focused too much on dealing with acute mental health crises. There’s not enough focus on helping people before they reach that acute stage.

In the private sector, services are expensive, there is a lack of regulation and quality control. Too often I see services suffering from geographic fragmentation. In many parts of the country it is far too hard to access mental health services and this has to change.

Where would you like to see the health service in 10 years time?

I want the gap between public and private mental health services to close. We need a much greater emphasis on early intervention services. Technology has a huge role to play in allowing every person, no matter what they earn or where they live, to have quick and easy access to affordable services. MyMind is leading the way in this vision and I’m very proud of the work we do.

Krystian will be speaking at the 2020 Health Summit on February 6 in Croke ParK Dublin.

For more details visit www.healthsummit.ie

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