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New phone app launched to help prevent suicides in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 07:43 12 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:02 12 October 2018

Suffolk User Forum manager Jayne Stevens addresses a workshop Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Suffolk User Forum manager Jayne Stevens addresses a workshop Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archant

The Suffolk User Forum launched the app, called Stay Alive, in association with Grassroots as part of World Mental Health Day.

Sue Willgoss lost her son Daniel Willgoss Picture: JORDAN PEEKSue Willgoss lost her son Daniel Willgoss Picture: JORDAN PEEK

It consulted with 3,400 people before launching the app to check what would be most welcome - with the app receiving many positive comments from users.

Nat Clarkson, 40, who lives with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, said: “When someone is in a moment of crisis their thought process is very insular.

“It can be hard for people their with them, even family members to get through to them, this app is another way to do that.

“All the sections in this app cover all the key things you would want to be reminded of if you were in a bad way.”

A screen shot from one of the links on the app shows that it is not working Picture: CONTRIBUTEDA screen shot from one of the links on the app shows that it is not working Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Despite the positive aspects, the app has been criticised for several glitches.

Sue Willgoss lost her son Daniel to suicide this year and said: “I think a lot of the app is good and it provides some useful information.

“However I think if the first link you click on is wrong then it doesn’t look very good.

“It has links to American groups as well with American numbers and if you are feeling suicidal and ring those it can be a problem.

“I don’t think people who are in a crisis would find this app particularly easy to navigate either.”

The app features include access to UK national crisis support helplines, access to crisis services in Suffolk and a safety plan which can be filled out by a person considering suicide.

Jayne Stevens, SUF manager, said: “I will be looking into these problems with Grassroots who designed and provided the app.

“We did test it out ourselves and it has won a lot of service user awards and we did an online survey that had a lot of feedback and hundreds of comments.”

The app is available free of charge on iTunes and Google Play.

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