In January 2024, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), in partnership with Kooth and Brightline, is launching two behavioral health virtual services platforms for children, youth, and families. Launching as a part of the state’s CalHOPE program, with funding from the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative, a $4.6 billion investment in youth behavioral health, the web- and app-based platforms will offer all California residents, regardless of insurance coverage, free one on one support with a live coach, a library of multimedia resources, wellness exercises, and peer communities moderated by trained behavioral health professionals to ensure the appropriateness of content and the safety of all users. These new CalHOPE platforms will complement existing services offered by health plans, counties and schools by providing additional care options and resources for parents and caregivers, children, youth and young adults in California.
Designed with input from more than 1,000 unique and diverse stakeholders, DHCS is releasing two platforms – BrightLife Kids for parents and caregivers, young children, and adolescents, and Soluna for teens and young adults.
What services will the apps offer?
BrightLife Kids and Soluna will offer:
- Free Coaching: Pre-clinical and sub-clinical coaching sessions through in-app chat or video appointments with qualified behavioral health coaches. Telephone coaching will also be available in all Medi-Cal threshold languages.
- Educational Content: Age-tailored educational articles, videos, podcasts, and stories.
- Assessments and Tools: Stress-management tools and clinically validated assessments to understand and monitor behavioral health over time.
- Care Navigation Services: A searchable directory and live care navigation support to connect users to their local behavioral health resources, including connecting users with their health plan, school-based services or community-based organizations that can provide clinical care options and care coordination services.
- Peer Communities: Moderated forums and programs to connect users with other youth or caregivers.
- Crisis and Safety Protocols: Crisis and emergency safety resources for platform users experiencing a mental health crisis or who require immediate assistance (e.g., 988).
What about safety and security?
Both of the apps have strict privacy and confidentiality requirements and must adhere to all applicable state laws and regulations pertaining to privacy and security. Each of the apps will also follow robust safety and risk escalation protocols to ensure the safety of children, youth and young adults using the apps. Trained behavioral health professionals will monitor app usage to identify potential risks and licensed behavioral health professionals will be on stand-by to intervene if clinically appropriate. Further, each app will connect users to crisis or emergency services, when needed.
Starting January 1st, 2024, BrightLife Kids will be available for iPhone users in the App Store and online, and Soluna will be available in the App Store and Google Play Store (for Android users).
You can also visit CalHOPE.org for more information.
If you are interested in spreading the word about the Behavioral Health Virtual Services Platforms, the content included in this toolkit can be used to help DHCS easily promote the resources as well the promotional videos, one-pager, posters, social media, and content for your newsletter or website.
Download the Toolkit PDF.