California Launches New Mental Health-based Apps for Families and Youth – The 74 | Technology Apps

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Blanca Paniagua was nervous.

The young adult was set to speak at a webinar about one of CalHope’s new experimental apps.

“I saw how many participants there (were)  and I was like, I’m about to use the app so it could calm me down,” said Paniagua.

But Paniagua had some strategies from the app — including exercises to deal with anxiety.

According to a study conducted by the California Department of Public Health, the state saw a 20% increase in suicides for young people ages 10 to 18 after the pandemic. To deal with the rising mental health crisis, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has launched two new app-based programs, BrightLife Kids and Soluna, to be a first response resource for children and participants up to age 25.

“I never really knew how to express myself,” said Esther Verdugo, another Soluna participant who had experienced anxiety from her busy life before she started using the built-in journaling exercises. “The people around me always expressed themselves that I…

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