Elle Bernfeld (MSW '16) Helps Launch Mental Fitness App
Soon after she graduated from the Silver School, Elle Bernfeld (MSW ’16) joined a multidisciplinary team of like-minded young professionals to develop a new app called KindMind that focuses on the maintenance of mental health by framing it as “mental fitness.” Taking hectic lifestyles into account, the app “game-ifies” mood tracking by using incentives like earning emoticons and achieving goals, and connects users directly to the services they need to stay mentally fit.
Currently in its developing stages, Bernfeld said KindMind will be the only app on the market that provides not just mood tracking, but also convenient access to teletherapy and telepsychiatry, personalized searching to find the right provider, automated appointment scheduling and payment, as well as social support through 24/7 community support forums. According to Bernfeld, “The key goals of the app are to de-stigmatize mental health and to remove barriers to care by creating a one-stop shop for mental wellness needs.”
Bernfeld said that although she is the only team member who is a licensed therapist and has what she describes as “the physical presence to communicate about the app to others with mental health backgrounds,” the other members of the KindMind team share her passion for promoting mental wellness. One of her roles with the company is speaking on behalf of providers, especially younger therapists who are just starting to build their practice and can only afford to work from home. She credited the Silver School with helping her develop her formal, presentation-style as well as giving her the clinical experience to be able to advocate for the client and well as providers.
In addition to promoting mental wellness, Bernfeld said she wants to encourage others in the field not to be afraid of telehealth. “With the mental health field changing rapidly, younger professionals need to adapt with the times. Some professionals see teletherapy as a threat to therapy, but in-person therapy will always have a place, and teletherapy offers a wider range of options for a unique clientele.”