13,000 users of prevent suicide app in first six months

An app designed to help prevent suicides in the north east has been used more than 13,000 times since it was launched at the end of March.

The app, which is available on all platforms, 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.

It not only gives the user access to a huge range of helpful organisations, but allows them to write their own safety plan which can help them through difficult periods when they are at heightened risk of suicide.

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

In addition to the app, money which has been donated by various people and groups has been used for online ads which will signpost people to help if they type certain phrases. Posts highlighting the app will also appear on Facebook timelines over the Christmas and New Year period.

Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Choose Life co-ordinator, Iain Murray, said: “I would like to thank NHS Grampian and Faff Digital for their help in developing this app as well as the many people who have promoted it. Especially Fiona Weir and Deanna Cruikshank whose courageous decision to tell their story has helped so many people across the north-east and beyond. 

“The number of people accessing the app proves there is a real need for this in the north-east of Scotland. It has also coincided with a drop in the number of suicides in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire which is very welcome.”

Recent figures have shown a 27% decrease in the number people who have been lost to suicide in Aberdeen this year, and a 16% decrease in Aberdeenshire. This year also saw an unprecedented 12-week period where there were no suicides at all in Aberdeenshire or Aberdeen city.

Iain Murray added: “We are aware that this is a difficult time of year for many people, and the important message to anyone struggling is that help is just one click or phone call away.”

People can access the app by downloading it from Google Play or the App Store. They can also visit the dedicated website.

Alternatively they can phone Samaritans on 116 123 or Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87.