Do you know someone who is at risk of suicide? Perhaps a friend or a loved one and you’re not sure how to help them? Then tell them about the award-winning suicide prevention app, Stay Alive, which has been saving lives for over a year now and help them to stay safe.
The app was officially launched in 2014 on World Suicide Prevention Day, which is held on 10 September each year. It was developed by Brighton-based charity Grassroots Suicide Prevention in partnership with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Now, one year on, it has been downloaded around 6,000 times, with many users describing it as a “life-saver”.
The app’s users can access up-to-date resources, crisis support and interactive tools to support them in times of crisis. As well as contact details for helplines and online resources the app includes a ‘Lifebox’ where users can upload pictures which remind them of reasons to stay alive, a list of reasons to live and a mini safety plan for times when they have thoughts of suicide.
Other features include a myth-busting section about suicide, research-based reasons for living and useful information and strategies for coping.
Ben, age 22 from Brighton has downloaded the app and has found it useful in times of crisis: “I’ve had the Stay Alive app on my phone for many months. I keep my safety plan updated on it and have read a lot of the content. This has been incredibly helpful for me, but it is in the event of crisis that I have found the app most useful.
“A few months ago I found myself in a position where my thoughts of suicide were so strong and prominent that I needed immediate help to avoid another suicide attempt.
“In previous moments like this I have not known where to turn for help and have instead begun turning suicide plans into actions. Fortunately, when I was trying to think if there were options other than suicide open to me, I remembered the app and that it might help. I was able to immediately dial through to a helpline using the crisis resources within the app and they were able to support me and keep me safe in the short term, until further help could be reached. They were also able to help friends look after me.
“Since the incident many of my friends and family have downloaded the app and say it makes them feel more comfortable and confident in being able to support me if suicidal thoughts become as prominent again.
“I think perhaps without the app and its ability to help me to find help, strong suicidal thoughts would have become another suicide attempt. I believe that it is a unique resource which I carry with me everywhere I go, which gives it an unbelievable scope to help.”
Chris Brown, Director of Communications and Engagement at Grassroots,said: “Different people find different types of support effective, and the most important thing is to find what works for you and have it ready and waiting in times of crisis.
“Stay Alive has helped so many people like Ben, who find themselves struggling to cope with their thoughts of suicide and previously did not know where to turn to get the help they desperately need. We’ve developed this app to help people access that support in times of need and our aim now is to tell as many people about it as possible.
“If you have thoughts of suicide, please download it now and have it in your pocket, ready and waiting just in case. If you’re concerned about someone you know, don’t be scared of talking to them and asking how they feel. Maybe recommend the app or download it yourself – it’s full of useful resources that can help you start a conversation with someone, which could prove to be a potential live-saver.”
Emma Wadey, Director of Nursing Standards and Safety at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Suicide is devastating for families and communities. We know that the app is already proving to be a valuable source of information and support, and we hope to see even more people downloading the app to help them prepare for times of crisis.
“As well as offering advice and resources for those in crisis, Stay Alive is aimed at people worried about a friend or loved one and anyone who has been bereaved by suicide. No matter where you are or what you’re doing this app can be in your pocket, ready to help.”
To download the app: