A ground-breaking suicide prevention app, Stay Alive, is now available for people in Kent and Medway. With lots of useful information and tools to help individuals stay safe in a crisis, Stay Alive can help both people who may be having thoughts of suicide and those concerned about someone else.
As well as useful advice on how to help people stay safe in the moment, crucially, the Stay Alive app contains features which people can customise to help them at moments of crisis, such as:
- a mini safety plan where they can note actions they will take and people they will call if they feel they cannot stay safe from suicide
- a LifeBox to which they can upload photos from their phones, reminding them of their reasons to stay alive
- details of people who can help if they are having thoughts of suicide, contactable direct from their device
- a wellness plan to support recovery, with a place for positive thoughts, inspirations and ideas.
The app was put together by a charity, Grassroots Suicide Prevention, with input from young people and adults with mental health problems and from mental health professionals. It is funded locally by the Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) which has ensured it includes local information, including on Release the Pressure.*
Lauretta Kavanagh, STP Mental Health Programme Director, said: “We all know how important phones have become in modern life. This app will give local people who are having suicidal thoughts easy access to their personal safety plan and reasons to stay alive, round the clock and wherever they are. And so, it will help them to stay safe through difficult times or a moment of crisis.”
Professor Catherine Kinane, STP Clinical Lead for Mental Health, said: “Statistics show how suicide across the UK are a leading cause of death among young people aged between 20 and 34 and the highest suicide rate for the UK is for men aged between 45 and 49. As one of the many projects we have established across the county to help prevent suicide and raise awareness, we hope this app will go towards helping our most vulnerable when they really need it. It is also an invaluable tool for anyone who is worried about a family member or a friend. Take a look and let us know what you think.”
West Kent resident, Simon T Jones, added: “There is always another option – and the Stay Alive app gives helpful info, friendly and easy to follow suggestions to finding a brighter way.”
The free app is available to download from the Apple App Store and the Android Google Play:
Notes to editors:
*The Release the Pressure campaign urges people to seek help by calling Freephone 0800 107 0160 where support is available from trained and experienced staff 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The campaign website www.releasethepressure.uk also includes case studies from men in Kent who have turned their lives around after attempting suicide.
Grassroots Suicide Prevention consulted widely on the content of the app, which was initially developed for Brighton and Hove, holding 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 The Alliance of Suicide Prevention Charities and held an online survey with 340 respondents, with the majority having lived experience of suicide. Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust clinicians also reviewed and approved the content.
The Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership is a collaboration between Kent County Council, Medway Council, and all the NHS organisations across Kent and Medway.