Suicide Prevention Mobile Apps
As the world is becoming more technology driven, using technology to reach out to people who struggle with behavioral health issues is important. Smart phones and internet are everywhere and using mobile apps could be an important tool to connect with people who struggle with mental health issues. There are a wide variety of apps for the different mental health issues. Some of the important apps are those that focus on suicide prevention because they connect those who struggle with suicidal ideation to the world and decrease their isolation. MY3 and A Friend Asks by the Jason Foundation are two of the effective, accessible and easy to use suicide prevention apps that are on the market.
MY3 Mobile App
What makes the MY3 app unique is that it is targeted to individuals at risk for suicide, while other apps are geared toward providers, family members, and other support persons.. The at-risk individual follows the app’s guidelines to create an individualized support plan.. This is a process that an individual can do on their own or with the support of a behavioral health care provider. In the first screen, the person can add 3 contacts who they can reach out to when they need to.The first page also has a direct link that connects them to the crisis hotline and a direct link to 911.
The user can also fill out a “safety plan” by inputting: 1) warning signs. 2) coping strategies. 3) distractions, 4) network, 5) keeping myself safe, and 6) my reason to live. Finally, they have the option of emailing the safety plan to someone.
In addition to that, the app gives a list of different support resources that the person might need. The person can “add resources” that fit their needs from the big provided list. The app is very simple to use and easy to navigate.
A Friend Asks- The Jason Foundation
This app is targeted more toward people who live/ have contact with someone who might be at risk for suicide. The app has the option of connecting someone directly to the crisis hotline; however, it also provides information and resources for people who might know someone at risk. One icon in the app is called “How to help a friend”- when this icon is clicked, it takes you into another page that has options of: warning signs, how to ask, what to do, and what not to do. The way the app looks (colors and display) is attractive, and it is easy to navigate and read. In the end of each page, there is an icon for “GET HELP NOW” and “resources for help”.