App developed to help prevent suicides in the North East

Choose Life has introduced a new way for people who are at risk of suicide to get the help and support they need.

Working with Faff Digital they have developed an app which will be available to download on Apple, Android, Windows Phone and Kindle Fire devices.

The “Prevent Suicide - Northeast Scotland” App was officially launched at Aberdeen Foyer today.

The app is a way of allowing people to gain knowledge of suicide prevention without having to directly engage with mental health services which many people shy away from.

Choose Life Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Co-ordinator Neil Murray was joined at the launch by Fiona Weir whose husband was lost to suicide.

Fiona said: “Anything which makes information on suicide prevention more accessible is a good thing. If this prevents just one person in the north east from taking their own life it will have been a success.”

Faff Digital demonstrated how the app will work at the launch and a website has also been created to work alongside the app www.preventsuicideapp.com

John Paul Thain who developed the app said: “We were very happy to work on the app with Choose Life having developed a similar one for Tayside. Faff Digital are proud to have worked with all involved in creating this potentially life saving app."

NHS Grampian provided funding for the app and is being supported by Aberdeen City Council, The Moray Council and Aberdeenshire Council.

Imran Arain, Health Promoting Health Service & Public Mental Health Lead at NHS Grampian said: “In 2014 69 people were lost to suicide in Grampian with the majority being men, predominantly in middle age. The app will signpost people to websites and organisations who can help them. It can also be useful for relatives and friends who are concerned about someone they know.

Choose Life is the national strategy to prevent suicides in Scotland. Choose Life in the North East also funds the work of organisations such as the Samaritans and Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland providing direct support for people affected by suicide.

Choose Life Coordinator for Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Neil Murray said: “I would like to thank NHS Grampian and Faff Digital for their help in developing this app. Suicide devastates families and communities leaving people with so many questions unanswered. The feeling of loss and helplessness leaves a lasting impact.

“Allowing people to have readily available information on their phones or mobile devices will increase the chance they will seek the support they need.”