J Balvin, also known as the Prince of Reggae, launched a bilingual mental health app as part of his entry into the digital wellness sector. J Balvin has been open with his followers about his battles with mental illness and his recovery process. Now, he is sharing some of his experience by releasing the bilingual wellness app OYE.
Balvin and his two co-founders — Mario Chamorro, a creative wellness activist and the company’s acting CEO, and Patrick Dowd, a creative strategist and the company’s COO — created the app, which aims to empower persons dealing with mental health concerns.
According to the story shared on the website: “J Balvin is the co-founder and Chief Dream Officer. From the streets of Medellin to Silicon Valley, local radio stations to the world’s largest stages, Jose is our partner in purpose, helping us all to dream big, listen, and grow together.”
The app’s emphasis is on being bilingual, and catering to the Latin American and Spanish-speaking community. OYE conducted an internal study that deduced that 92% of the Latin American respondents had a negative or dismissive understanding of mental health, as well as mental health services.
A report published by the American Medical School Association supplements and proves this data. The report shares that within the Latinx community, there is a cultural stigma towards mental illness and insufficient understanding of what it means to obtain mental health treatment. Additionally, Latinxs in the U.S. receive mental health care 50% less frequently than their white or American counterparts.
This is why Balvin and his collaborators insisted on having OYE be bilingual. Oye, a Spanish expression that means listen in English, has become the team’s main motivation. The app will offer daily check-ins and bilingual wellness practices to users. Additionally, users can engage in imaginative wellness activities, like coached instruction on how to better understand their own emotions. The length of daily wellness routines might range from 30 to 45 minutes.
Balvin decided to create this app based on his experience and struggles with mental health. He is not the first celebrity to publicly talk about struggling with mental health as we have seen in the past couple of years. Though the market seems to be oversaturated at the moment with wellness apps such as BetterHelp, Calm, and Headspace, OYE offers a bilingual aspect that other apps are lacking, making certain Spanish speaking audiences feel isolated.
Photo via OYE