By Luke Araujo | Staff Writer
BetterMe, a behavioral health care company with over 100 million users worldwide, launched an educational course on mental health for people of color to celebrate Black History Month. The course is free throughout February.
According to SAMHSA, 4.8 million Black Americans — or 16% of America’s Black population — reported having mental illnesses in 2018. Despite this number, Black Americans have said they face mental health stigmatization in their social circles.
Kateryna Gaieva, public relations manager at BetterMe, said the company’s initiative includes tools for self-reflection and self-empowerment, fighting prejudice against engaging in mental health aid and the impact of Black representation and identification on Black people’s self-perception. The seven-day program will also include daily meditations created and narrated by mental health coaches and psychotherapists working in Black communities globally.
“We stand with Black mental health advocates as we work to make mental health care available to everyone, regardless of background,” Gaieva said.
To spread news of the course, BetterMe is reaching out to public figures in the Black community, including Doug Middleton and Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams.
“The time couldn’t be more appropriate to announce my support of BetterMe, a health app that has a focus on mental health,” Williams said in a Feb. 4 Instagram post. “We’ve experienced a lot the past few years and I’m super thankful for this resource.”
BetterMe has also partnered with BetternessBox — a subscription-box book club and community whose efforts are focused on better wellness for Black women.
“We’ve already taken part in an Instagram Live Wellness Wednesday by Kala Garner, co-founder of BetternessBox, with our guest Latania Franklin,” Gaieva said. “Franklin is the owner of The Self Inside LLC and the curator of the seven-day Black Heritage and Identity Meditation Course.”
In the past, BetterMe has launched similar initiatives. In January 2021, the app introduced an at-home workout program for elderly users. In May 2021, it launched wheelchair workout programs in celebration of Global Accessibility Awareness Day.
“The company has developed two supportive apps: BetterMe Health Coaching and BetterMe Mental Health,” Gaieva said. “BetterMe Mental Health app was born from a meditation app that grew into a full-fledged product for everyone looking for emotional support in 2021. BetterMe Mental Health offers customized self-help plans, meditation courses, quick breathing exercises, relaxing sounds and mental health specialists for a holistic solution for better well-being and healing.”
BetterMe founder and CEO Victoria Repa said the company is honored and humbled to be a part of a global movement promoting inclusion and mental health well-being.
“Our apps are offering a safe space for individuals in the Black community to connect to their heritage, embrace their identity, self-reflect, remain grounded, united and thrive as a community,” Repa said.
The course will still be available even after it is no longer free with the February deal. It will be included in BetterMe Mental Health’s regular subscription.