this is selfsea

An app designed by, with, and for young people to find community, health resources, and more. This is the evolution of the last 20 years of our work helping young people live healthier lives.

what is selfsea?

selfsea, powered by Peer Health Exchange and co-designed with young people, provides safe, inclusive, evidence-based, and identity-affirming health resources and information for youth everywhere. this app offers a place where young people can see themselves reflected within a supportive and inclusive community that prioritizes their identity and experiences about mental health, sexual health, and beyond.

selfsea is built with young people, evidence-informed, and supported by a team of experts in the field.

built with and for young people ages 13-18

selfsea was created in partnership with young people every step of the way. our first Youth Design Group (YDG), was made up of eight high school students from across the country who learned the human-centered design process to help us develop our prototype. since then, YDG members have contributed to everything from branding, to evaluation, to ongoing feature development.  we currently have sixteen youth design group members. all are high school students between 14 and 18 years old, and they come to our weekly virtual meetings from eleven states across the country. most identify as Black, Latinx, Indigenous, People of Color, and/or LGBTQIA+, and each member brings their own expertise to our work together.

safety by design

We care deeply about ensuring that selfsea is a safe space for young people. Since the very beginning, we have worked with our youth advisors, mental health professionals, and legal experts to ensure that it meets the highest standards for safety. We take our users’ privacy and safety seriously and exceed the requirements outlined by COPPA. We also integrate children’s rights into our development approach by aligning with Designing for Children’s Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. You can find our privacy policy—which starts with an easy-to-understand overview before getting into the legalese — here.

critical safety features of selfsea

  • selfsea is completely anonymous for our users, and we even ensure that usernames and posts don’t contain any personally identifying information. We only require an email address to sign up, and this is stored separately from content of posts.
  • our communities are 100% pre-moderated to ensure that there is no room for bullying, harassment, or inappropriate posts
  • any posts that violate our community agreements are moderated following our unique restorative moderation process, which invites the user to participate in the community in a positive manner
  • users in need of urgent support can easily connect to our partners at Crisis Text Line by clicking a link in the app
  • both our web app and mobile app encourage users to select content warnings to control the content that they see when using selfsea

evidence-informed and building on years of experience

selfsea is powered by Peer Health Exchange (PHE), a national non-profit organization that builds healthier communities with young people. since 2003, PHE has trained more than 15,000 college students to deliver health education workshops to over 188,000 high-school students in communities across the country. the PHE curriculum—informed by empirical evidence and rigorous evaluation—helps students develop the skills needed to make active, informed decisions about their health. these social-emotional skills are integral to accessing, acquiring, and applying academic content, and have a demonstrated impact on resilience, academic tenacity, and academic achievement at all age levels. PHE’s expertise and years of experience in adolescent skill building and peer relationship-building provided a strong foundation on which to build selfsea.

our Youth Innovation Lab, which oversees selfsea, is led by a diverse team with decades of leadership in health equity and digital impact. each leadership team member has 15-20 years of relevant experience, and many team members hold advanced degrees across Social Work, Public Health, Education, Marketing, Organizational Management, and Nonprofit Leadership. equally important, some of our staff are much earlier in their careers, and able to offer their valuable perspectives as members of Gen Z.

adult partners

in addition to the critical partnership with our youth design partners, we have been supported by many adults who also care deeply about our vision. many thanks to the following advisors, who are key thought-partners in ensuring that our products are safe, effective, and positive experiences for young people.

Dr. Candice Norcott

Dr. Candice Norcott

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University of Chicago
Dr. Claudia-Santi Fernandes

Dr. Claudia-Santi Fernandes

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Yale School of Medicine and Play2PREVENT Lab
Dr. Danielle Busby

Dr. Danielle Busby

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University of Texas and Black Mental Wellness
Dr. Dontá Morrison

Dr. Dontá Morrison

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APLA Health
Dr. Terika McCall

Dr. Terika McCall

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Yale School of Public Health and Consumer Health Informatics Lab
Dr. Walter Malone

Dr. Walter Malone

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University of Kentucky
Paloma Woo, LCSW

Paloma Woo, LCSW

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The Trevor Project
Ashlee Wisdom

Ashlee Wisdom

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Health in Her HUE
Chuck Harris

Chuck Harris

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(former) Blue Meridian
Dr. Bhupendra Sheoran

Dr. Bhupendra Sheoran

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Cell-Ed
Dr. Jamie Murray

Dr. Jamie Murray

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Pediatrician
Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola

Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola

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UC Davis
Frank Williams

Frank Williams

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Evolent Health
Kareem Zaki

Kareem Zaki

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Thrive Capital
Michael Deering

Michael Deering

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(former) Inland Empire Health Plan
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

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join selfsea today

selfsea, powered by Peer Health Exchange, provides young folks with support, resources, and stories from young adults who’ve been there. We believe self-care is community care. Our app was designed together with young people as a safe digital place where they can see themselves reflected within a supportive and inclusive community that prioritizes their identity and experiences about mental health, sexual health, and beyond