Yes, there's a difference.
No, it has nothing to do with regional variations. All native English speakers use the phrasal verb 'help out'.
That has answered both your questions, but I suspect that the question you want to ask now is "What's the difference?".
"Help" is quite a general word that can be used in all sorts of situations.
"Help out" is more specific and practical. We use it when someone has a problem to solve or a task to achieve. If another person helps out, they provide whatever is needed to make this job easier for the first person. They contribute something. For example, imagine a young couple with small children who are struggling to cope with their daily lives. If they say "Life's quite hard at the moment, but fortunately our parents help out", we understand that the parents do something practical to make the situation easier and to assist them in coping with their lives. Perhaps the parents give them money or look after the kids regularly. That's what "helping out" means.
Also, remember that while lots of things can help you ( medicine, money, ideas) , only people can 'help you out'.
I don't think there is any difference. I think the "help you out" is just a longer way of saying "help you".
I would love to hear what other English language speakers think. :)