VCU Basketball Star Spearheads Maunda, a Social Media Platform Focused on Mental Health

By Spencer Hulse Spencer Hulse has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on May 7, 2024

Joe Bamisile, a rising star for the VCU Rams basketball team, has launched a new social media platform called Maunda. The platform aims to build a community of hope by linking mental health tools and social media in one space. It provides a space for users to connect, share their experiences, and access positive tools to help reduce stress and manage anxiety.

Bamisile, who has dealt with his own personal mental health challenges while balancing the demands of being a Division I basketball player, found solace in the practice of meditation — having reportedly meditated nearly 1,000 hours over the past two years. Through this practice, Bamisile saw an opportunity to help others in a similar vein. 

“Social media can be a great way to build community, but it can also cause anxiety and depression,” says Bamisile. “With Maunda, I want to flip the script by making mental wellness the focus of the entire platform.”

The app incorporates features like group meditation sessions, a vanishing journal, pre-loaded affirmations, and shared accountability streaks. These novel features, coupled with traditional social media functions like posting stories and direct messaging, allow users to prioritize their mental health while still being connected to their virtual community.

Filling a Gap in the Market

While mental health apps like Calm and Headspace have gained popularity, Maunda is the first application to integrate wellness tools into a social networking platform. According to research firm Datamatics, the global mental health apps market is projected to grow from 4.4 billion USD in 2021 to 19.6 billion USD by 2030, at a CAGR of 18.06%, signaling significant demand.

Maunda provides a solution that connects social networking and mental health. The World Health Organization estimates that anxiety and depression increased by a staggering 25% globally in just the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, where isolation was heightened most. Comparably, a 2024 study by Mental Health America found that over 50 million adults in the U.S. are currently living with a mental illness.

“People are searching for spaces that are positive for their mental health. Maunda was created to encourage positive interactions within the virtual community space and the use of practical resources to improve emotional well-being,” says Bamisile. As an NCAA student-athlete turned tech CEO, Bamisile hopes his perspective will inspire others. No other college basketball player has ever accomplished a feat like this in the tech space.

“I want to show that taking care of your mental health should be a priority, not an afterthought,” he says. “And can pursue your passions — whether basketball or entrepreneurship—while making wellness a key part of your life.” In its first week, Maunda has already attracted hundreds of eager people wanting to join this new era of hope in the social networking space.

By Spencer Hulse Spencer Hulse has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Spencer Hulse is the Editorial Director at Grit Daily. He is responsible for overseeing other editors and writers, day-to-day operations, and covering breaking news.

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