Meet Colleen Leung, Founder & CEO of Unmute

"Mental health care was not built for patients of color in the US. There are 35M BIPOC adults living with depression or anxiety, left untreated, it costs health plans an additional $153B a year. There are two key drivers to this problem:

  1. Only 30% of patients of color with mental diagnoses actually receive treatment
  2. Even when BIPOC patients seek therapy, 50% will drop out after their first session most often due to a lack of cultural fit

As a second-generation Chinese American, my family did not speak about mental health while growing up. So when my mom battled severe depression and thoughts of suicide recently, our family was at a loss. I knew she needed help, so I blindly navigated the therapist search process. My mom was already skeptical about trying therapy and when the therapist I found turned out to be a bad cultural fit, she was no longer interested in trying therapy again.

Unmute is the first teletherapy platform focused on therapy completion rates for patients of color. Our approach to therapy not only gets more BIPOC patients into therapy, but we’re also hyper-focused on increasing therapy completion rates to improve patient outcomes. Current solutions only get patients into the front door and through a fee for service model incentivize prolonged patient treatment. We’re building a value based model that is backed by research and focused on improving the therapeutic alliance between patient and therapist, because this is one of the strongest predictors of success in therapy.

Our clinicians are certified through Unmute’s Multicultural Training Institute, which provides rigorous training in our culturally-responsive model of care. By training Unmute clinicians to embody anti-oppressive principles in practice, we deepen their capacity to empower BIPOC patients to lean on cultural strengths, practice new skills, and engage in problem-solving to address the root causes of their difficulties

At Unmute, the problem we're solving is personal— our team has lived experiences in the communities that we serve and we deeply understand the pain involved in trying and failing to find the right therapist. Together, we are unmuting conversations on mental health care and strive to offer an inclusive solution that will increase access to therapy."