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How Brian Femminella and SoundMind App Are Working to Democratize Mental Healthcare

Brian Femminella

The mental health crisis is a serious epidemic sweeping across the country. Research shows that around 20% of the world’s children and adolescents have a mental health condition. Additionally, 26% of American adults have a diagnosable mental health disorder in a given year, and 9.5% will suffer from a depressive illness each year (NAMI). Yet, the expenditure on mental health care still falls below 2% of total healthcare expenditures, and access to therapy remains costly for most (WHO). Worse still, mental health remains a taboo topic in some communities, exacerbating an already dire situation and complicating the lives of victims.

Brian Femminella, the founder and CEO of SoundMind App, is on a mission to democratize mental healthcare. The 22-year-old, openly gay army officer understands the devastating effects of untreated mental health issues and is committed to helping more people avoid them. This commitment stems from his experiences not only as a as a member of the LGBTQ+ community but having also lost friends to depression and PTSD. 

Femminella is a graduate of the University of Southern California where he partnered with SoundMind co-founder, Travis Chen, after interning together on Capitol Hill. Like Femminella, Chen lost a friend to suicide while in college. As a first-generation Taiwanese immigrant, Travis has always advocated for increasing the conversation around mental health in Asian communities. With the SoundMind App, he is setting the pace and creating room for dialog around this issue in his own community. Travis was one of the youngest California State PTA Board Members and helps promote the SoundMind App as a solution for school-aged children. SoundMind App is currently the only app appropriate for adults and children.

The SoundMind App was designed with three primary goals: to provide person-centered quality care, address all aspects of mental wellness, and promote community and connection. The development team utilized sound/music therapy and artificial intelligence to build an app that allows users to decrease stress, depression, overwork, anxiety, and PTSD in the comfort of their own homes and “on the go.” The app allows you to improve your mood and productivity through individualized music therapy, expand your community and connect with other wellness champions, and grow your culture through personal data.

Additionally, the app supports marginalized groups like LGBTQIA+, AAPI, etc., and allows those who might feel uncomfortable in a traditional therapy setting to access care. The SoundMind team continues to bridge the gap in mental health resources and recently announced a FREE lifetime membership for all active duty and veteran military service members. SoundMind hopes to become the go-to mental health resource for youth, schools, and Gen-Z organizations and underserved communities.

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