About us

Headsted was founded in 2014 as a continuation of long-term research collaboration between experts in psychology and technology. After a successful launch of the social anxiety programme among Finnish university students, the team decided to take it international.

"Research shows that online psychological intervention programmes can have a significant impact. We want to improve access to research backed solutions to benefit everyone."

Kirsikka Kaipainen, CEO

The Headsted team combines evidence-based methods with online and mobile channels so that we are able to reach as many people as possible. The main therapeutic approach used in the services is acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).

Our solutions are extensively trialled in Finland before translating them to other countries.

Headsted's quest to support the UK population has seen them expand their team to include British based experts in mental health, operations, and public health. The delivery of evidence-based ACT programmes through cost effective and accessible formats to people struggling with issues such as anxiety, stress and low mood, is something that excites the entire Headsted team!

Headsted team

Values

All our actions are guided by our shared core values.

Evidence-based

We use reliable methods that are shown to be effective. We base our decisions on data and verify our assumptions. We keep up-to-date about new research findings.

Openness

We encourage openness about feelings and opinions, and speak up immediately if something is bothering us. We embrace new ideas and collaboration across fields and disciplines.

Societal impact

We strive to make a positive impact and change the world for the better. We participate actively in mental health initiatives and think of new ways to reach and support more people.

Helping others

We reach out to those who suffer, and offer a helping hand in everyday life situations. We are also not afraid to ask for help when we need it ourselves.

Accessibility & Affordability

We ensure our services are in reach of everyone in need regardless of time and place. We keep our tone down-to-earth and understandable.

Ethics

Our ethical principles are closely related to our values.

Privacy, confidentiality and responsibility

We value the dignity, worth and privacy, and self-determination of all persons and maintain confidentiality in our endeavours.

Honesty and accuracy

We value honesty, accuracy, clarity, and fairness in our interactions, and seek to promote integrity in all facets of our scientific and professional endeavours.

Competence

We value the continuing development and maintenance of high standards of competence in our professional work.

Get in touch: firstname (at) headsted.co.uk

Kirsikka Kaipainen, CEO.

Kirsikka keeps our vision and team together. She used to spend more time with computers than humans when she herself was socially anxious and had lousy self-esteem. She’s tinkered with online and mobile programs for mental wellness over six years, finished her PhD about the topic in 2014, and has also learnt to overcome her own issues. Now she’s even more determined to help others do the same.

David Lees, Commercial Director.

David's background as a mental health and public health practitioner drives his passion for an upstream approach to promote positive mental health and well-being. He likes to challenge established ways of thinking and working and has championed therapeutic solutions in mental health across the globe. His drive and enthusiasm is infectious. David believes that developing strategies towards resilient mental and emotional health enables us all to bounce back from whatever life throws at us.

Koen Smets, Operations Manager.

Koen makes sure that the things that ought to happen actually do happen. For the last fifteen years or so he has been helping people be more effective at work, both as a team coach and as an organizational effectiveness guy. He has long had a profound interest in psychology and behaviour, and he is a great believer in the potential of digital self-help tools.

Katariina Keinonen, Psychologist.

Katariina has a diverse set of tasks, ranging from content curation to supporting our users on their journey through the programmes. She works with clients both face-to-face and using online channels. She is also writing her PhD about brief interventions for depression.

Prof. Raimo Lappalainen, Scientific Director.

Raimo watches over our content development and makes sure that psychological methods are properly implemented. Raimo is professor and former head of the Department of Psychology at University of Jyväskylä. He has an insane amount of scientific publications and practical experience. Psychology, along with football, has been Raimo's passion since teenage years: "My mission is to promote health and well-being by increasing access to scientifically well-grounded methods."

Toni Vanhala, Development Lead.

Toni is our tech-wiz who coordinates all development efforts. He learned the alphabet at four years old by typing up computer programs. No joke. Not surprisingly, he had hard time socializing in school and was bullied. These experiences push him to change things. Toni got his PhD from University of Tampere, Finland, in 2011. His thesis dealt with emotion regulation, for example, studying how smiling affects physiological reactions of the socially anxious.

Päivi Lappalainen, Content Lead.

Päivi is a multi-talented content creator and project leader, whose versatile education was complemented with a PhD in online therapies at the Department of Psychology at University of Jyväskylä in 2015. Her own serious illness roused a desire to help others: “The world contains a lot of suffering. We can help to relieve it with easily accessible online programs.”

Aki Loponen, Systems Stabilizer.

Aki keeps our servers operating smoothly and handles the varied day-to-day tasks of software development. He's strict about code quality and putting the customers' and users' needs first. Aki is also a skilled creator of audio and video elements in our programmes, and pursues creative projects both at work and leisure.

Headsted provides online self-help for troubled heads. Our mission is to create accessible, affordable and engaging services that help people to overcome challenges in their mental well-being. We reach out to those who find it hard to get help for their issues or who seek new direction for their lives.

How common are mental issues?

Mild symptoms such as presentation anxiety, tension, worrying or trouble sleeping are very common. Estimates say that each year 38% of the EU population suffers from some mental disorder, and only 1 in 4 gets help (see Wittchen et al., 2011). Moreover, at least 12% has symptoms of social anxiety (see Fehm et al., 2008). These symptoms can hurt everyday life.

We want to provide support to people as early as possible before the mild symptoms grow into huge problems. We believe we can reach out to the over 100 million Europeans who don’t get help for their mental issues.

Reaching out

Ten tips for mental health

Everyday actions and ways we react to challenges have a huge impact on mental health. To get started, here are ten practical ways to look after your mental health.

  • Do things you enjoy. Take time to do something that really sparks your interest. Fit moments like this in each day: read a book chapter, listen to good music, take a walk in the park, see a friend, start a new hobby...

  • Talk about your feelings. Bottled-up emotions can grow and fester over time. Describing and explaining them to someone else helps to put things into perspective and gives you emotional support.

  • Stay in touch. Maintain the connections to friends and family. Someone to talk to can help you through rough times, and make life rich and joyful during good times.

  • Help others. Offer a helping hand to people you meet, or take an issue you care about and find out how you can contribute to it. Putting an effort to improve others' lives makes you feel good and makes life more purposeful.

  • Ask for help. Sometimes life throws obstacles on our way and we get overwhelmed or tired. Ask for help before things get too rough. You are also giving the other person a good feeling about helping you.

  • Focus on here and now. Be mindful of your senses and surroundings. Take a moment each day to simply 'be' – notice the sounds and smells around you, the air you are breathing, the things you are touching. This is a great way to stop dwelling in the past or sinking too deep in planning the future.

  • Keep active. Mind and body are not separate. Physical activity and exercise boost resilience and help you sleep better. Just make sure you do the type of activity that you can enjoy.

  • Challenge yourself. Take on a challenge or learn a new skill. This builds confidence and gives a sense of accomplishment – and even if you don't meet the challenge, you learn something new in any case!

  • Take breaks. Changes in pace or scenery are refreshing for your mind and body. Lunch breaks, coffee breaks, few minutes for a breathing exercise, a short walk outside, or a weekend away can do wonders.

  • Accept yourself. The most important but sometimes the hardest thing to do. We are all different and have our own unique strengths. Note and appreciate who you are and how much potential you have.