New mental health app launches amid Suicide Prevention Week

New mental health app launching
Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 7:32 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A group of young adults are launching a new mental health app amid Suicide Prevention Week.

It’s called SoundMind, and it uses the power of music to calm your mind and body.

Throughout the pandemic, they tested the app on nurses who were anxious, stressed and working overtime caring for those with COVID-19.

Brian Femminella, chief executive officer and co-founder, said they found that it really helps with relaxation, anxiety, insomnia and overall mental health.

”One of the big things we found with music is that it 100% speaks to your body, especially your brain in a scientific way,” Femminella said. “It allows your body to calm down; it allows your stress hormones to be reduced. Music can sometimes speak to your body more than sometimes your mind can.”

Travis Chen, chief operating officer and co-founder, said they’re working to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health.

“We’re not only a product, a company, a start-up, we’re really a movement. And we’re trying to be a part of that conversation to continue talking about these things and break the stigma, even in communities that are marginalized,” Chen said.

Femminella and Chen met in Washington D.C. while working for Congress on legislative policies, and they bonded over their passion to come up with a product that people can use when they’re struggling with their mental health.

Femminella said they feel like it’s their duty to give back to their communities.

“When we go to different groups and we share SoundMind, and we see how it helps them. It’s probably the best part of this job,” Femminella said.

Through the app, you can listen to music or visual beats. The visual beats send different frequencies to your ears, and they’re processed in the brain to alter your mood state.

The best part, you get to customize your library with your favorite sounds and music so you can always have the tools in your back pocket.

”You can pair a main composer piece which was developed in-house and then we have three ambient music bubbles which you can pair with it as well. You get to mix your own soundscape so if you want to listen to wind with your guitar or rainfall or thunderstorms if that makes you feel calm,” said Lucy Schafer, chief community officer.

There’s also a journaling feature, which the app then combines that data to give you a mental health profile.

The company is reaching out to school districts across the nation to get this tool into classrooms. They have partnered with the Boys and Girls Club, Nami and other organizations in Tucson.

The official launch of the app is Sept. 7.

You can find it in the IOS app store.