California Offers Free Anonymous Mental Health App for Teens

California Offers Free Anonymous Mental Health App for Teens

A person holds a phone in San Francisco, California, on Sept. 29, 2015. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

11/16/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

California teens will soon be able to download an anonymous mental health app that aims to help youth cope and connect with others in crisis.
The CalHOPE Youth app will be available for all residents from 13 to 25 years old throughout the state starting Jan. 1, 2024. It’s currently being tested in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.
CalHOPE is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and run by the California Department of Health Care Services, which provides crisis counseling to help people recover from disasters through free counseling and support.
The new youth app features a personal journal for users, interactive tools with calming sounds, a chat feature where users can engage anonymously with other users on the platform, and other educational resources, according to Apple’s App Store.
Users only need to provide a zip code, date of birth, and an email address to set up an account, according to a website about the app.
Parents, schools, and doctors will not be able to access information provided by youth users, according to the app’s website. The data is stored on the app developer’s servers.
The app, which was first introduced in the U.S. in late 2022, was developed by Kooth, a digital mental health care app company that has also been commissioned in the U.K. to provide mental health support for children and young people. The company reported about 1.3 million visits on its apps each year, according to its website.
The program, which is offered in English only, will soon be available in 19 additional languages.
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Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

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Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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