Keeping data in mind

Mieli - Mental Health Finland

Setting the scene

The mission of the non-governmental organization Mental Health Finland (MIELI) is to support and promote good mental health for every member of society. It does this in many ways: encouraging collaboration between individuals and their communities, organizing activities, and by providing expert services. These services include crisis help and assistance via phone, reception, and webchats, as well as suicide prevention, consulting, and training of both professionals and volunteers. MIELI also sells journals and guidebooks and produces brochures and promotional material.

The bright idea

Every action performed by MIELI – such as answering a phone call to crisis support or dealing with a reception visit – is documented in their internal system to help prepare reports, which are important in many ways. Firstly, the data is used for the funding of the association. Secondly, the reports are needed when newspapers ask for official data regarding mental health – for example if there’s an increase in phone calls to crisis support after an incident.

The inevitable challenge

MIELI’s current system had come to the end of its life. It was a service by an outside provider that had been customized to meet their needs, but both the usability and customization opportunities were limited. Several features that were needed couldn’t be added due to limitations in the system – quite simply, it was time for something new.

Our peace-of-mind solution

We created a new system for MIELI from scratch by rebuilding their old one using more modern and flexible technology. To make sure the system met all of MIELI’s needs, our first step was to do some research, working together with them to answer some essential questions:

  • What were the necessary parts of the documentation process for each function?

  • Was there anything in the old system that wasn’t actually needed?

  • Which new features should be added?

Our role was to facilitate and help the decision-making process, then to make sure the technology matched what was required. Once we had the information we needed, we could find overlaps and synergies between how different functions operate in MIELI. These common ways of working allowed procedures to be unified in the software.

So how did it go?

We were able to simplify and unify MIELI’s processes and add all the requested new features to a system that caters directly for the organization’s specific needs. We also improved the usability significantly, using modern, flexible technology that can be easily modified, maintained, and further developed whenever needed.

Success that speaks for itself

MIELI offers many services, meaning the system needed to handle large amounts of data – and it does, with easy-to-find information and straightforward forms that can be easily accessed round-the-clock by all users, from volunteers to professionals. Support for better mental health is something we all believe in, so it was great to be able to help MIELI in such a practical way.