Selena Gomez launches new mental health platform, Wondermind
While the new platform could prove beneficial for those with mental health challenges, it’s not yet clear how financially accessible it will be.
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On Nov. 18, singer and actress Selena Gomez announced her new social media platform, Wondermind. Wondermind is a platform focused on mental health and will be launching in February 2022.
Gomez collaborated on it with her mother, Mandy Teefey, and the founder of the Newsette, Daniella Pierson.
The purpose of Wondermind is to connect users to educational resources on the app and eventually in real life. Their ultimate goal is to expand the platform into a production company that would offer streaming content, books and journals with prompts.
In its initial release, it will also feature a podcast hosted by Teefey on the site. In this podcast, she will be interviewing people such as medical professionals and celebrities about mental health.
Gomez is no stranger to talking about or doing things for mental health awareness. She and the other two founders discussed their own struggles in the site’s welcome video. In July 2020, she launched the Rare Impact Fund, named after her makeup company Rare Beauty. The fund’s goal is to raise 100 million dollars over ten years. The money will go to mental health education.
This all seems good on paper but a comment from Pierson might raise an eyebrow.
“We’re excited to build a lucrative business. Because the best way to ensure that society pays attention to an issue is to make money from it. That’s how true movements are made,” she said during an interview with Elle UK.
There currently isn’t any information out about how the site will be structured, which raises a lot of questions about how the site will make its money. Will it be a subscription service? Will it be free to use, but push products like the books to its users? What effect would this have on its userbase?
Well for one, cost could eliminate part of their potential userbase. If the cost of entry or the cost to fully participate in the space is too high, people who can’t afford it won’t use it. This would be bad because high cost already bars people from mental health help like therapy. This means that people who need an alternative like Wondermind, may not have that option.
In addition to cost, product pushing could also turn some people off to the platform. The remote therapy app, BetterHelp, has been involved in controversies in both 2018 and 2021 that boil down to people believing that they put profits over people. Some people just won’t like the monetization of mental health help.
While more information about the structure of the site is yet to be made available, as it stands now, the Wondermind platform has the potential to give a lot of people the tools and help they need to address their mental health.