The supply of Mental Health services is not meeting demand nationally.

Mind wanted to increase the availability of high-quality peer support to people with lived mental ill-health experiences. They had two existing digital communities which although successful had become inadequate and were unable to be scaled further to meet the targets of the charity and to meet ever-evolving user expectations.   

The decision was therefore made to combine the two communities and create a new re-platformed solution, repositioned with new features to better serve a wider audience. 

Mind wanted the new community to enable anyone with a mental health problem to feel empowered to access the peer support that they want and need. They wanted to create a scalable online platform –one which will champion peer support as an overarching principle but will also provide a more personalised and tailored experience depending on the interests and needs of the individual. 

This strategically important project aims to help Mind move closer to delivering their organisational mission to ensure that no-one faces a mental health problem alone. 

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Approaching this challenge had to be done carefully and respectfully in collaboration with Mind's audience.

It was important to Mind and Etch those vulnerable members of the two existing communities were looked after and considered at every turn. 

Starting out at the research phase. It was important to understand what the users of the current platforms liked about their community and what they thought could be improved. That activity helped drive our prioritised user stories in our Agile approach to this product build.  

All design and user experience focus was heavily on the users, ensuring high levels of empathy at every click. How would this make the user feel if they did this? What would they be expecting if this happened?  

A BETA launch was the best way to understand on relative mass how the users would get on with the new platform and in early stages how it could be improved. Allowing the community members to help craft what the product will eventually be is a great way to let them feel listened to as well as made as comfortable with the upcoming change as possible.  

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Through working together Etch and Mind have found a good cultural fit and working approach.

We have cultivated an ongoing relationship that gives Mind a balance of creativity and stability. Mind has benefited across the organisation from an ongoing relationship with a team of experts whom they can work with to create new propositions and development roadmaps to meet the needs of users and the organisations strategic goals. 

We have clearly demonstrated to the organisation that we are increasing operational efficiency and reducing the "cost to serve”, making it a more financially sustainable platform for Mind to scale reach and impact more people. We are projecting a 130% reduction in cost per active user and a 178% increase in active users in the period from 2019 to 2022. 

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Throughout the pitch process, it was clear that Etch understood the unique challenges faced by people experiencing mental health problems and charities like Mind.

"Throughout the pitch process, it was clear that Etch understood the unique challenges faced by people experiencing mental health problems and charities like Mind. From the beginning, Etch put in the effort to make sure the team fully understood what we’re trying to achieve as an organisation, which came through very clearly and the collaborative way of working we have developed with them"

Eve Critchley, Head of Digital for Mind. 

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