Ryan Mundy began his career playing for his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he won a Super Bowl. Playing eight seasons in the NFL, he also played for the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears. Despite a successful career in the NFL, Mundy battled mental health issues, and decided to create a mental health platform for Blacks.
“I saw a trend in the marketplace as it relates to verticalized care,” Mundy explained. “I was seeing platforms for men, platforms for women, platforms for the LGBTQ community, et cetera. But I didn’t see a platform that was explicitly focused on folks who looked like me,” Mundy said during an interview with Entrepreneur.
In 2020, Mundy launched Alkeme Health, which provides resources for suicide prevention, or for people who simply need someone to speak with, as well as other resources.
“There’s a lot of inequity in healthcare,” Mundy said. “Our community is at an outsized risk for every chronic disease and illness in the book. So how do you take the first swing at that?”
Alkeme Health also offers mental health videos and courses from Black psychologists and therapists, along with meditation tools and exercises. Additionally, Alkeme hosts regular live-streamed events led by clinical professionals when something traumatizing, like another police shooting, happens to the Black community.
“I’m always reminding myself and the team that this is a marathon,” Mundy said, “particularly doing what we’re doing. There are not many companies out there that have the aspirations that we have. Sometimes we jokingly say we’re going where no company has gone before — because nobody out there is doing what we’re doing, quite like we’re doing it.”
During an interview with Essence, shortly after his 2016 retirement, Mundy said, “I was physically hurt, and I was emotionally hurt, and so I left the game wounded. I’ve always been a football player. It’s done so much for me. It has been my life. I left the game so, so hurt, and I was mad and upset, and jaded. That initial transition out was not good for me on multiple levels, and it really kind of set the course for how I got here today.”
Recently, Mundy’s company partnered with McDonald’s to provide a mental health course for HBCU students. Students who receive the 2023 McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Scholars scholarship will also get a free subscription to Alkeme Gold for one year.