An app to help support people who are feeling distress and affected by suicide has been officially launched as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.
Prevent Suicide D & G app is available now and aims to become a vital tool to help people access help.
Nineteen people died by suicide across Dumfries and Galloway during 2018, but there will be many more people who are either experiencing or know someone who is having thoughts of suicide.
Featured on the app is an individual safety plan which can be completed by each individual with the help of professional support, a trained listener on a helpline such as Breathing Space or with a friend or family member.
Claire Thirlwall, Health and Wellbeing Specialist, said: “Living with thoughts of suicide can be an everyday struggle for people. Factors such as finance, relationship breakdowns, experiencing domestic abuse or feelings of loneliness can all impact on how someone feels.
“Research shows that most people experiencing thoughts of suicide don’t want to die but want to stop the pain that they are experiencing due to their situation. The app provides helpful information as well as a vital way of ensuring that people know where to, and can, access support with links to a range of organisations and services.
“There is also practical guidance on what individuals can do to help someone they suspect is feeling suicidal. Talking openly about their feelings can help a person get clarity about what is troubling them. It can help them gain a perspective on their distress. You don’t need to have a solution to their problems – being there for them and listening, without judgement, shows that you care and their distress, and ultimately their happiness, is important to you.”
The app funded through Dumfries and Galloway Alcohol and Drug Partnership has been adapted from the award-winning Tayside Prevent App, which has seen a positive response
Grahame Clarke, Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Alcohol and Drug Partnership, said: “We recognise that there is a relationship between alcohol and other drug use and suicidal behaviour and are delighted to be able to support the Prevent App as a vital tool to help support people to access help.”
The app can be downloaded for free on any smart phone. If you know or someone you know is feeling suicidal then help can be accessed through contacting your GP or Samaritans on 116123 or Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87 (Weekdays: Monday-Thursday 6pm to 2am and Weekend: Friday 6pm-Monday 6am).