Stay Alive app

Stay Alive app

Eastern AHSN is supporting the evaluation of the Stay Alive app which is a suicide prevention resource for the UK, packed full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis.

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The three-year average suicide rate during 2013-2015 was 10.1 suicides per 100,000. Three quarters of suicides in 2015 occurred in adult males2 and a high number of those who take their own life in Hertfordshire were not involved in any support services, suggesting current services are not reaching those in need and additional interventions must be explored. There is also limited support for the friends and family of those at risk of suicide, or those bereaved by suicide. A survey conducted in December 2018 demonstrated individuals had limited understanding of suicide prevention services in Hertfordshire and had limited access to information on suicide. These findings informed the Stay Alive suicide prevention project.

Hertfordshire aim to be a county where no one feels suicide should be their only option. To help achieve this strategy Hertfordshire have set up the suicide prevention network with more than 20 organisations working in focused groups to help reduce suicide. Spot the Signs, a suicide prevention campaign in the suicide prevention network, aim to increase public awareness of depression and suicide, as well as remove the stigma linked with suicide. Spot the Signs engaged with Grassroots to roll-out their suicide prevention app, Stay Alive, in Hertfordshire. This involved adding local Hertfordshire services (which can be accessed directly through the app) and promoting the app in the region. The app was promoted via social media campaigns, bus adverts, and through local community services for the target group.

Impact & Outcomes

From May 2019, the Stay Alive app has been live within Hertfordshire with all promotional initiatives active to communicate the app to the target group. The project tracks app downloads from the social media campaign and the number of people accessing the local Hertfordshire services directly through the app This resource can be used by anyone who has feelings of suicide, or by those who are concerned about someone feeling thoughts of suicide. It is free to download, and support can be accessed immediately. It also has information about suicide and a “myth-busting” section, responding to the requests for more information on suicide in the December 2018 survey. Eastern AHSN are supporting the evaluation of the Stay Alive app. To evaluate the success of the app, focus groups will be run 6 months after app go-live (in October 2019), to understand views and collect feedback from the target group. A repeat survey will also be conducted to identify any changes in understanding of local services and suicide in the area, as a result of the app. The evaluation findings will be documented and shared to develop the Stay Alive project, and other projects across the suicide prevention network and the region.