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Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

With public offerings too slow to be useful and the private market too costly, adequate mental heath care is out of reach for many who need it. In Ireland, government referral for mental health care can take eighteen months or more, and a single session through a private provider can cost upwards of €100. Complicating matters, the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) is designed inefficiently and jealously guarded by civil servants—typically HSE psychologists see four to five patients over three to four days, an amount drastically below capacity. In addition, there significant spare-time capacity among professionals in the public and private system, and many who are willing to work for those most in need, and able to be mobilized to provide free and accessible care. In the process, Krystian is designing an online element that reaches out beyond Ireland to other areas in Europe—creating the structures for expansion from the very start.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Krystian has identified the main elements of weakness in Irish mental health delivery. A system that is accessible, flexible, and inexpensive allows for early intervention, yet the current system exacerbates existing problems. In order to get a mental health care a patient must go to their General Practitioner and get a referral. Within the public system, the wait between the referral and any actual care can stretch up to eighteen months. For people in need of mental health care, many of whom wait until situations are desperate before seeking help, this length of time is untenable. It also precludes any early intervention, allowing problems to blossom. Aside from the long wait times, when mental health care is secured through government channels it is inevitably medicalized—hosted in hospital settings and resorting to the drug-based psychiatry covered by insurance rather than talk-based solutions. Ireland has significant under served populations for mental health. Mental health care is considered a luxury, and prices reflect that sentiment. The market rate for mental health care in Ireland is between €80 and €100 per session, which is out of reach of many who need it, especially immigrants and those at the bottom of the socio-economic spectrum. Other social organizations, such as Samaritans, are private charities based on grants that offer only intermittent reduced fees. Mental health is an unregulated market throughout much of Europe. Mental health issues have a tremendous stigma in Ireland. Though mental health issues are widespread, it is a significant obstacle to get people to admit to problems and seek treatment, and few channels to find support in a discreet way.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Krystian is building a movement for accessible, preventative mental health care. He has created a new social business model of community-based mental health services, driven by a revenue-generating combination of paid and pro-bono therapists and practitioners to make mental health care available and affordable without stigma. He has removed the slow referral process and offers visits in a matter of days with three levels of fees, free for the unemployed and unable to pay and fees for paying clients still well below market. He uses web counseling and question answering as a portal to bring people in who may be too afraid or unaccustomed to therapy, and offers a multi-disciplinary team, from psycho therapists to life coaches, which limits the all-too-common dependence on drug-based solutions in the sector. Krystian’s online intervention tool serves as a gateway for tentative users and provides a shared learning platform for practitioners, making mental health care affordable without stigma, and maximizing efficiency through technology and allowing for international outreach. He has two centers in Dublin and is expanding into Limerick and Cork. Krystian’s flexible, inexpensive system allows for full focus on early intervention and prevention, making mental health care available to those who need it most.