On World Suicide Prevention Day 2014, Grassroots Suicide Prevention launched the UK's first suicide prevention app, Stay Alive. Grassroots designed and developed the content, with funding support from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Network Rail and the developers, Switchplane.
Grassroots consulted widely on the content of the app, holding local focus groups with young people with mental health problems, LGBTQ adults with mental health problems, and a team of mental health professionals. Grassroots also consulted with the membership of TASC (The Alliance of Suicide Prevention Charities) and held an online survey with 340 respondents. Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust clinicians also reviewed and approved the content.
“Just downloaded and looked through your Stay Alive app which is excellent (I'm a GP putting together information resources to give out to patients who may be at risk of suicide). It's really, really good and I'm so impressed, particularly by ability to add photos from camera roll.”
Grassroots' vision for Stay Alive is that it continues to evolve and be available, free of charge, to as many people as possible.
Grassroots is committed to developing Stay Alive as a truly national app that incorporates local and regional crisis resources for people at risk of suicide.
A license for the app will be marketed to partners across England initially, and then the rest of the UK, so that NHS Trusts, local authorities and others can advertise their local crisis provision to end users in their areas. Greater Manchester Public Health and 2Gether mental health trust are already involved and it is hoped that many others will follow suit and help the app improve crisis care pathways for more and more people with thoughts of suicide. For details contact firstname.lastname@example.org
“I have 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 that I have the app and that it might help. I was able to immediately dial through to a helpline using the crisis resources on the "find help now" section of 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.
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.”
The Trustees of Grassroots are delighted to announce the appointment of Stella Comber as our new Chief Executive.
Chair of Trustees Rah Bray said:
"We were overwhelmed by the calibre of people who applied to lead our small but highly effective suicide prevention charity during its next phase of development. This response is a tribute to the reputation that our staff, trainers and volunteers have earned in the local and wider community.
"After a rigorous selection process, we appointed Stella because she not only showed the necessary drive, insights and management experience from her current role at Oasis, a well-regarded charity working in the field of substance misuse. Stella also impressed the panel with her compassion and vision for Grassroots, and provided us with tangible examples of how we can increase our effectiveness and help more people through our suicide prevention training and consultancy work.
"We are extremely excited that Stella will be joining us on 6th February 2017."
"I am delighted to join Grassroots Suicide Prevention. Throughout my career I have supported vulnerable people, in a range of adult social care settings and as a leader. Suicide touches many of us; helping to prevent suicide by leading Grassroots during the next phase feels exactly the right move for me. I met trustees, strategic partners, trainers, volunteers and staff from the charity during the selection process. I was inspired by their collective commitment to the aims of Grassroots, and I look forward to working with them all over the coming months and years."
"Suicide is everyone's business; it devastates so many lives no matter who you are, where you work or where you live. We want to use every method available to us to make Sussex, and beyond, a place where people thinking about suicide are supported and helped in their workplace and their community."