Online symptom checkers have grown in popularity, offering the public a convenient way to consider their next steps for care. But now one symptom checker goes beyond stomach aches and skin rashes to include offering direction to mental health resources.
Users now completing an Ada assessment via Sutter Health’s website and who meet the appropriate criteria may now be provided information about Scout by Sutter Health™ as an option for mental health support.
Global health company Ada points to how young people across the United States are continuing to struggle with their mental health as evidence of an increasing need. Over 15% of American youths experienced a major depressive episode in the last year, a number exacerbated in recent years by the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, access to appropriate mental health services is limited, with over one third of Americans living in areas lacking mental health professionals. Experts say more options are needed, especially those that can help those seeking support earlier.
“We’re seeing a structural healthcare shift away from a reactive care model to a preventative one, where early intervention enables better outcomes for patients – this is just as true in the mental health space as it is with physical health,” said Jeff Cutler, chief commercial officer in the U.S. at Ada Health. “Making Scout by Sutter Health™ available from the Ada platform is an exciting step in our journey to provide users with inclusive support while also creating efficiencies for healthcare providers and systems.”
Scout by Sutter Health™ is an early intervention and prevention tool that delivers evidence-based tips, tools and activities to help teens and young adults build resilience and manage their everyday mental health. Co-designed with young people and clinical experts, the program offers personalized support to those aged 12-26. Scout can help build resilience and emotional health, and provides timely redirects to clinical care when needed. Participants receive weekly check-ins and are connected to non-clinical guides who support engagement. Scout is also available for caregivers who can enroll to receive information and tools designed to help them understand, support and connect with their loved ones as they work through their mental health journey.
“We’re firm believers in the potential of digital health support improving continuous access to whole-person care. Scout by Sutter Health™ represents our commitment to supporting everyday youth mental health by meeting teens and young adults in the places where they live, work and play, with a support option they have co-designed,” said Dr. Tam Nguyen, director of ambulatory care of Sutter’s Mental Health and Addiction Care team. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to bring the Scout by Sutter Health™ experience to more young people and caregivers through this innovative collaboration.”
Those meeting the criteria for Scout by Sutter Health™ are presented with a dedicated sign-up page. Those under 16 years old are required to have an assessment completed on their behalf by a parent or caregiver. Ada’s AI-powered symptom assessment and care navigation platform was first integrated into Sutter Health’s website and My Health Online patient portal in 2019.