Scout by Sutter Health™ Launches as an App and Focuses More on Resilience-Building for Youth and their ‘Champions’
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The new app version of Scout by Sutter Health™ launches with an emphasis on resilience-building for youth to better manage their everyday mental health needs. To help promote more access to the tool for all youth, all subscriptions to the latest version are currently at no-cost for teens and young adults.
“Supporting teens and young adults with building resilience can help them significantly as they cope with everyday vulnerabilities, difficult emotions and stressors. In addition, offering regular anxiety and depression screenings can help direct youth to the right care at the right time. With access to mental health care facing so many challenges, we need to lean on the collective power of the creativity and commitment of those who are addressing youth mental health from many angles,” said Vandana Pant, senior director of Sutter Health’s Design and Innovation team. “Leveraging the accessibility and scalability of a digital platform, the Scout toolkit serves as one small example of how proactive, 24/7 youth mental health support may aid young people before circumstances hit crisis levels.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health has been identified as a public health emergency. The U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, has stated his commitment to making youth mental health a priority while acknowledging the complexities today’s youth face.
Scout by Sutter Health™ is designed for teens and young adults ages 13-22. Its evidence-based tools, exercises and resources are conveniently available for young people in mobile-friendly and web platforms in English as well as Spanish. Scout by Sutter Health™ is available for download via the App Store or Google Play. It also is available via scout.sutterhealth.org. The no-cost subscriptions are made possible through philanthropic support by Mark and Mary Stevens of Atherton.
Learn more through the Scout demo
Scout by Sutter Health™ creators, who include young people, caregivers and clinical specialists, are first to say the platform is deliberately not counseling or therapy. Rather the app is a resource for young people to gain earlier understanding of difficult emotions and mental health stressors. It helps strengthen users’ abilities to manage daily life challenges. And if needed, it redirects teens and young adults to clinical care through available anxiety and depression screenings. Scout by Sutter Health™ also offers “champions”—usually family, friends or other identified supporters of the youth users—their own dedicated content streams. Scout by Sutter Health™ gives champions the opportunity to learn what their young person is learning in parallel so they can better support them in their mental health journey.
“Scout by Sutter Health™ helps youth recognize their strengths, identify when they may be struggling, and learn new ways to cope through fun and engaging tools that are personalized to their unique needs,” said Tam Nguyen, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and director of ambulatory care for Sutter Health’s Mental Health & Addiction Care team. “The platform’s potential is only enhanced as it provides guidance and reassurance to friends, family and loved ones who are in the corners of these young people.”
Scout’s resilience building journey is framed in the context of 10 Big Ideas. Within each idea are modules of relevant, evidence-based content, tools and resources that help youth develop the skills to cope with everyday life, difficult emotions, stressors and relationships. Big Ideas also include educational, non-judgmental content that helps increase an understanding of substances and their potential impact. Other content includes understanding depression and anxiety, communication and conflict, triggers and de-escalations, sleep, nutrition, meditation and more. Content is self-paced and available for 12 months.
As part of the robust research to develop Scout by Sutter Health™, many users identified the importance of rapid access to one-on-one human support. To meet this need, Sutter Health is collaborating with Peers.net, a telehealth platform from Flourish Labs. On Peers.net, young adults and teenagers can book a one-on-one session with a peer supporter of their choice, on demand. Peers.net supporters are trained, certified, supported by specialists and paid for their time. They each have personal experience with mental health challenges and provide emotional support, teach skills and share their knowledge of dealing with depression, anxiety, trauma, body image issues, LGBTQ+ questions and more. Peers.net, along with other helpful resources, may be accessed on Scout by Sutter Health’s™ resource page.
“We’re excited to bring Peers.net to Scout users who are looking for human support in addition to what the app offers,” said Kim Newell Green, co-founder and chief medical officer of Flourish Labs. “The Scout team’s emphasis on resilience while providing the right level of support aligns perfectly with our own vision at Flourish Labs. Scout and Peers.net are scalable solutions to the mental health crisis that work hand in hand, combining digital tools and human touch to empower youth to help themselves and each other.”
Scout by Sutter Health™ is also available through public or private collaborations that Sutter has with other not-for-profit organizations, school districts, colleges and universities, employers and insurance providers. Existing community partnerships include those with The Boys & Girls Club of Tracy, The California Department of Transportation, Genentech and Santa Clara University, among others.
Scout’s latest version was built by Code and Theory, a technology-first creative agency, with creative content developed in partnership with Emergence Creative, a global creative agency dedicated to social impact. Scout’s pilot version launched in 2021, with branding, content and strategy from Emergence Creative, focusing on patients within Sutter’s system as well as other community partners. It has nearly 2,500 users to date. Its pilot phase made favorable impressions on users. Users evidenced a 40% increase in resiliency and 93% found the content meaningful, rating it four out of five stars overall. Scout by Sutter Health™ has also earned recognition from Fast Company’s 2021 Innovation by Design award and their 2021 World-Changing Ideas.