The Stay Alive app is a free to download suicide prevention tool, designed to help people thinking about suicide and those concerned about someone else.
This award-winning Real Talk product, developed by Grassroots Suicide Prevention, has been recommended by Sal McKeown from The Good Schools Guide’s SEN team when exploring new mental health apps and is listed as a tool to help young people in crisis.
Can young people use the #StayAlive App?
Research shows there are significant social barriers for most people wishing to seek help with suicidal impulses including stigma, a feared loss of autonomy such as being sectioned, and concerns over the attitudes of health professionals. Apps provide a private, interactive and easily accessible resource for obtaining information and support which largely bypasses these barriers.
Sal recognises apps have a lot of potential and says:
‘Apps offer privacy and give the individual a measure of control’.
Apps are also well-suited to the predominant media browsing preferences of teenage and younger adult age groups which have a particularly high risk of suicide. Stay Alive helps groups of people who are less likely to access traditional mental health services, to start to engage with support.
So what are the advantages of using apps for suicide prevention?
In 2015, 90% of 16-24 year olds and 87% of 25-34 year olds in the UK owned a smartphone, giving app-based interventions an automatic advantage in terms of appealing to this demographic. Suicide is the leading cause of death for men in this age group (26% of all male deaths aged 20-34 years in England and Wales in 2012). Due to child and adolescent mental health services budget cuts of £85 million since 2010, many young people are being left without support over longer periods for mental health conditions.
‘Young men have a higher suicide risk; they are often reluctant to seek help and may go down the road of drugs and alcohol, a form of self-medication which masks their problems… Parents and teachers are desperate to find quick answers when young people are in distress because professional help may be a long time coming.’
Stay Alive provides 24/7 access to help and support, alongside personal life-saving features, the app has tips and tools on how to support a loved one or friend.
One app review on the iTunes app store said:
To read the full ‘Apps for mental health’ story please click here.