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Black-Owned Mental Wellness Apps to Check Out This Stress Awareness Month
Black adults have an increased 20% likelihood of dealing with mental distress, according to a report by the American Psychological Association.
According to the report, Black Americans deal with more stress factors than any other group as their day-to-day lives deal with battling systemic racism, medical racism and other forms of discrimination. The stress eventually builds up leading to higher rates of illnesses such as breast cancer and heart disease.
For this Stress Awareness Month, here are some Black-owned mental wellness apps made for relieving stress and helping the Black community with their mental wellness.
MindRight Health: Created by entrepreneur and innovator Ashley Edwards, the first Black woman to get $1 million in investments from venture capital in the state of New Jersey, this Black-owned mental health app helps people from marginalized communities by connecting them to coaches that are able to talk when they need to talk about stress or anxiety. Through SMS text service or a phone call, the coaches are easily accessible to the people and are trained in being transparent, enforcing self-care and understanding that problems in society such as racism and health problems often overlap.
Shine: Created by entrepreneurs Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi when they noticed a lack of representation in wellness apps, this BIPOC-led app gives people dealing with anxiety, stress or self-esteem issues daily affirmations. These inspiring quotes and assertions are meant to promote the practice of self-care and self-healing. Voted Best of the Year 2020 by Apple, the app also provides podcasts by qualified therapists and teachers on topics such as meditation and mental well-being. Their special program, Shine at Work, caters specifically to people at work to help them get through their day.
EXHALE: Created by entrepreneur Katara McCarty, she launched this app to help Black, Indigenous and Women of Color find a safe place where racism, sexism and other forms of oppression they often experience don’t exist. Full of representation, the app makes the women feel seen and promotes “soul medicine.” This form of medicine is meant to heal the inner soul from things like stress by offering breathing exercises, teaching meditating skills, offering inspirational thoughts and providing podcasts by professional life coaches. EXHALE has garnered attention, making the lists on news outlets such as Forbes and Black Enterprise.
Ayana Therapy: Founded by mental health advocate, Eric Coly, the mental health app is focused on overcoming any boundaries that prevent people from going to speak to someone about how they’re feeling and what’s giving them stress. The easy-to-use app helps users find therapists who are understanding of their culture, sexuality, ethnicity, class and more. The therapists are available through text, phone and video chat and users are allowed to remain anonymous when speaking. Ayana Therapy also provides users with hotlinks to resources and crisis centers for people in trouble. Coly, who has struggled himself with his mental wellness, hopes to reconstruct the idea of therapy and take away the stigmas that prevent people from going to talk to someone.
Talley: Founded by Lara Cena, the app provides users with a space where they can freely talk to someone anonymously through the phone about anything that’s weighing on them or how they’re feeling. Through the listening service, the users are able to talk to someone who understands exactly what they’re feeling. The app also gives the users the ability to connect with each other if they have similar stories and would like to talk about them confidentially. Talley also gives seminars every Saturday where they discuss health and wellness topics.