Digital way to reduce suicides

Grassroots Team
Grassroots Team

A new smart phone app to prevent people from committing suicide will be released this summer.

A digital solution was discussed during a presentation on suicide prevention techniques at the Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) meeting last Tuesday.

Emma Wadey, Director of Nursing Standards and Safety Sussex Partnership NHS foundation Trust, said there had been six unexpected deaths - which cannot be labelled ‘suicide’ until an inquest draws an official conclusion - in Horsham and Mid Sussex, in the last year.

She said the most common victims in this area were middle aged men who had relationship breakdowns and had no history of mental illness.

She added that there had been an increase in the number of unexpected deaths in Sussex - 100 last year compared to 60 the year before.

Emma told the CCG the partnership, working alongside Grassroots Suicide Prevention, had created the first ever suicide prevention smart phone app which will be launched in July.

She said a QR code will be displayed in ‘hot spots’ around the region, such as railway lines and bridges.

Smart phone users will be able to scan the codes with their handsets and they will be taken to a page with safety tips and support line numbers .

Emma added that this app could be used by members of the community who came into contact with someone in crisis and didn’t know what to do.

The CCG was told that 10 per cent of all unexpected deaths took place on railway lines and that number was particularly high in this county.

Emma said the partnership had been working to support and train railway staff who might be likely to come across a person in their critical moment.

Referral routes have been created to ensure those people found by staff are sent to the appropriate support groups, she added.