How a mental health non-profit chose Skåne for its peaceful headquarters
When the National Institutes for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression (NISAD), a global non-profit in the mental health sector, was looking for a place to move its headquarters, practicality and economics weren’t the only factors.
“Relocation is an emotional experience,” says Tadhg Ó Séaghdha, NISAD’s Head of Behavioural Psychology and Psychotherapy, “and although organisations can be embarrassed to say so, individuals feeling that they belong in their new home is far more important than access to equipment or facilities – although these do matter, of course.”
Originally based in the United Kingdom, NISAD’s search led them to consider the Skåne area. Ó Séaghdha says the organization learned about Invest in Skåne online and sent an email expressing their interest. They received a reply the next day from Senior Business Development Manager Ulrika Mårtensson and began working with her.
“Without her enthusiasm and help we would not have decided to move,” admits Ó Séaghdha.
Helping people change behaviours that are harmful to their health
Despite its full name, NISAD doesn’t just specialise in stress, anxiety, and depression, but in all conditions affected by hormones and behaviours, including sleep issues, type 2 diabetes, and more. NISAD also doesn’t operate as a single firm. “[It] isn't one organisation,” Ó Séaghdha says, “but an umbrella term for over 10 different businesses, social enterprises, and charities.”
Ó Séaghdha explains that NISAD’s aim is to help people change behaviours that are harmful to their health. “We do this by working on the rational part of the mind to dispel any practical reasons for not changing,” he says, “and then, we believe uniquely, we work on the emotional reasons and beliefs that are causing the subject to be ‘stuck’”.
“...we have been looking for a home where we feel comfortable and valued and share principles with our peers,”
According to Ó Séaghdha, NISAD’s desire to relocate had been building for a while. “To a considerable degree, we have been looking for a home where we feel comfortable and valued and share principles with our peers,” he says. And that home turned out to be Skåne.
“People simply like facilitating joint success, rather than getting the upper hand,” Ó Séaghdha says. “We like that business we have done has not been on crude, testosterone-led negotiations, but with a real feeling of working cooperatively.”
Happy in their new home
Understanding how big a priority being part of a synergetic community was for NISAD, Ulrika Mårtensson, the Invest in Skåne Business Development Manager that worked with them, suggested Medicon Village. A science park in Lund, Medicon Village is not only dedicated to providing workspace for companies and organizations developing research and innovation in the life sciences but also creating an atmosphere that encourages collaboration.
“We are very happy to be here,” says Ó Séaghdha, who explains the positivity and community of NISAD’s new home in Medicon Village is not only a change from the more competitive atmospheres in which they’ve previously been based but vital to NISAD’s work.
“Happy people solve challenging problems,” he says.