12th April 2012
By David O’Sullivan
People in Cork will now have easy and quick access to community-based affordable mental health services, thanks to a new service which has been
launched in the city and which is open to people from the entire county and surrounding counties. The service will benefit people facing difficulties
such as depression, anxiety, relationship issues stress and all mild mental
health issues. According to the World Health Organisation, one in four people experience a mental health problem during their lifetime.
MyMind, which is a community based not for profit mental health services provider and Dublin’s number one mental health care centre, will offer consultations with mental health professionals for adults, children, adolescents and companies. More than 100 sessions will be available each week and there is no referral required from a GP or other healthcare professional.
MyMind was established in Dublin in 2006 and offers an alternative model to treat mental health problems by cutting waiting times, by-passing the referral system and empowering people to look after their own mental health.
MyMind’s Cork office was officially opened today, 8th April 2013 by Kathleen Lynch TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Mental Health and Cllr John Buttimer, Lord Mayor of Cork.
There is still considerable stigma surrounding mental health in Ireland.
According to research conducted by See Change, one in two Irish people would not want others to know if they had a mental health problem. 44% of Irish people have a direct experience of mental health difficulties either themselves or their family or friends. For many young people, mental health remains a cause for concern. According to research published by the Irish Medical Journal, Ireland has the fourth highest rate of suicide among 16-24 year olds in the EU. One in five young Irish people report having nobody to talk to about their problems and 25% young Irish people with depression have no-one to turn to for support.
According to its research, MyMind reported that 90% of people are happy to pay for counseling services if rates are affordable. MyMind is a social enterprise which uses funds generated from fee-paying clients to subsidise reduced-fee or free-of-charge services for clients who require assistance to access mental health support. Profits made from My Mind’s fee paying clients are used to subsidise fees for those who cannot afford them. The standard consultation fee is €50 while students and the unwaged pay €20 per session.
According to research conducted by MyMind, on average each client needs 4.6 sessions to overcome a mild mental health issue. Over 90% of all MyMind’s
clients have had positive mental health outcomes.
Accessibility is very important for clients suffering from mild mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress. 85% can’t wait longer than 5 days to see a mental health professional – MyMind guarantees to provide an appointment within 72 hours. 95% of clients in crisis stage wants to see someone within 24 hours. There is a clear need for accessible and affordable mental health services in Ireland. Mental health problems cost the Irish state approximately €2.5bn annually. Irish mental health spending in 2011 was at its lowest ever as a percentage of health spending, at just 5.3% (€708m) of total
health budget (HSE service plan). Only 21 out of 124 Irish adult community mental health teams are fully staffed. Only one out of 53 Irish child and adolescent mental health teams are fully staffed.
To date MyMind has supported more than 5,000 clients in face-to-face sessions, including 1,257 in 2012 alone. However, services are also available online through the e-MyMind service which supported an additional 1,130 people last year.