Stepping Stone

The Stepping Stone Project is a collaboration between Northwestern University, Rush University Medical Center, and the Night Ministry. The project aims to create sustainable, scalable, and flexible mental health services for homeless youth through a combination of mHealth solutions. Participants in our project receive a smartphone (made possible by Sparrow/Mobile for All) preloaded with the Pocket Helper app, a service and data plan for 6 months, and 1 month of support consisting of three 30-minute phone sessions with a support coach and opportunities to contact that support coach outside of these sessions by phone and text. Pocket Helper is a smartphone application, developed by CBITs, that provides daily tips to promote coping skills and delivers a daily survey about recent stressors and challenges. The support coach has access to a web portal that displays information collected via Pocket Helper affording the opportunity to tailor outreaches to participants’ current needs and issues. We are investigating the feasibility, acceptability, and benefits of this program by collection information on the usage of this program (e.g., number of outreaches by participants outside of sessions and time burden on the provider, as well as self-reports from the participants regarding their use of the skills, the perceived benefit of the various components of the program, and overall satisfaction with the program.