Trinity Executive MBA students have recently helped develop a new service with an Irish organisation called MyMind for frontline workers and those effected by Covid-19 in Ireland. The initiative, supported by Sláintecare and the HSE, provides access to free mental health support services through its online platform for those battling the pandemic.

As part of the Company Projects Module of the Trinity MBA programme, small student groups are paired with and work alongside senior management teams of organisations to deliver solutions to live business problems. When the MBA team paired with MyMind began their project in January 2020, none of them knew just how important their work would be.

With the sudden arrival on our shores of a global pandemic, the nation’s mental health was and has been affected in new and profound ways.  The lonely isolation of cocooning, the challenge of providing healthcare during a pandemic, the risk of being exposed to and passing the virus on to our loved ones, and the disruption to our daily lives are just some of the challenges people face daily as the virus becomes part of our new normal.

With MyMind delivering almost 30,000 appointments in 2019, 2020 was set to be even busier, and so the organisation needed to find ways in which to deliver its services effectively. It had in the past found ways to overcome some of the stigma towards mental health, including an online booking system, and the delivery of counselling in person and online in fifteen different languages. CEO Krystian Fikert, who has driven the organisation forward for the past 14 years, saw the need for a new approach, particularly during a pandemic where mental health has been firmly placed in the eye of the storm.

With the core aim of The Trinity MBA Company Projects to help the school’s MBA students gain experience in new industries and organisations, MyMind offered an excellent opportunity to marry both the varying industry expertise of the MBA students with MyMind’s immediate need to solve a real-world business problem.

The Trinity MBA team conducted interviews and surveys to support recommendations on how MyMind could deliver its services through innovative partnerships, by leveraging core technology, and by unlocking key talent. 

Halfway through the project, they were faced with a global pandemic that affected them all in many ways, both personally and professionally.  Yet, they believed in the value of the project, and delivered their recommendations to Krystian and his team, enabling them to move forward with their plans for MyMind. Krystian, said "Working with Trinity MBA students gave us a fresh perspective on how to extend our services to those who need it most.  Their research was thorough and  provided us with a solid evidence base on which to make decisions

MyMind is now partnering with the HSE and Sláintecare, offering subsidised free-of-charge counselling for anyone impacted by Covid-19, particularly frontline workers who are bearing the brunt of the healthcare challenges. 

Module coordinator and Assistant Professor of Social Entrepreneurship, Dr. Sheila Cannon, said “From these projects the students learn how organisations balance real social goals with financial sustainability which will only be more and more important in the future.”