The city of Scranton, Pa., is looking to purchase a mobile app to provide mental health services for first responders.

In the request for proposal (RFP), the city said it is looking to procure a mental health app because first responders “are continuously exposed to traumatic events, life-threatening situations, and with the stress of long working hours away from the family.” The RFP notes that these factors can lead to adverse mental health issues for first responders.

The RFP also notes that while mental health services are available, “it is not easy for the first responders to access them; some of the common reasons being lack of awareness, stigma, long working hours, long wait times for appointments and negative experiences with providers.”

In the RFP, Scranton outlined its requirements for the app:

  • It must provide access to services for first responders 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
  • The app must have evidence-based screening tools for mental health assessments.
  • The solution will provide a list of additional mental health and wellness resources that can be accessed by users of the system.
  • At a minimum, the solution shall have parameters for PTSD, stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • The app will help connect members to professional counseling services.
  • The solution must be bound by appropriate HIPPA regulations and follow “industry best practices” to protect anonymity where appropriate, such as in any group interactions or settings.
  • The solution needs to be capable of providing Scranton with reports regarding use of the system or any other metrics which do not infringe on HIPPA and protect the anonymity of members who access the system.

The app needs to incorporate appropriate and industry accepted security features to protect the personally identifiable information contained and stored on the electronic platform.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs