St Helens Council, Champs Public Health Collaborative and the Cheshire & Merseyside NO MORE Suicide Partnership Board have launched an app that supports people in crisis and at risk of suicide.
Developed by charity Grassroots, the Stay Alive app for Cheshire & Merseyside is a pocket sized suicide prevention resource and its launch coincides with Time to Talk Day on 7th February, which encourages people to talk about mental health issues.
People can use the app if they are having suicidal thoughts or if they are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide. The app is not a substitute for professional services but provides individuals with a tool to be able to support themselves.
Key features include:
• Finding help from local crisis services in the Cheshire & Merseyside area
• Quick access to UK national crisis support helplines
• A safety plan that can be filled out and used if a person is in a crisis and needs to keep safe
• A LifeBox to which the user can upload photos from their phone reminding them of their reasons to stay alive
• Strategies for staying safe from suicide
• How to help a person thinking about suicide
• Suicide myth-busting
• Research-based reasons for living
• Suicide bereavement resources
The Stay Alive free app is available for iOS and Android devices.
The Stay Alive app is universally available, however it will be targeted at population groups identified by local intelligence that are more at risk of suicide and those more difficult to engage in traditional services, such as men. It gives self-management support for those who are vulnerable to, experiencing or recovering from a crisis.
Sue Forster, St Helens Council’s Director of Public Health, lead for Suicide Prevention in Cheshire & Merseyside, and Chair of the Cheshire & Merseyside NO MORE Suicide Partnership Board, said: “I am pleased to see the launch of this important resource. Our vision as a Board is for Cheshire and Merseyside to be a region where suicide is eliminated, which supports people at a time of personal crisis and builds individual and community resilience for improved lives. This app will go some way towards helping us achieve that vision.”
Councillor Jeanette Banks, St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Better Health and Community Voice, said: “The rising ownership of smartphones and tablets across social and demographic groups has made mobile applications, a promising tool for engaging people in their health care, particularly those with high health care needs and those more difficult to reach. This app will give people the information they need at the time they need it and support them to self-care.”
The NO MORE Suicide Partnership Board has a Cheshire & Merseyside zero suicide strategy and action plan which sets out in more detail the national and local picture and key drivers for action.
The strategy intends to:
· achieve a suicide safer community across Cheshire and Merseyside
· establish effective primary care, mental health and crisis services
· support those who are bereaved by suicide.
Find out more at www.no-more.co.uk
For more information on Time to talk day 2019 https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/timetotalkday2019