Highland Community Planning Partnership launch suicide prevention app
The Highland Community Planning Partnership has launched an app to help prevent suicide in the north of Scotland.
The ‘Prevent Suicide’ app, which was developed in Tayside and adapted for use in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, is being rolled-out in Highland as part of the Community Planning Partnership’s (CPP) plan to address levels of suicide.
NHS Highland’s head of health improvement Cathy Steer said: “The CPP agreed to have a breakthrough achievement this year around addressing levels of suicide in Highland.
“We looked at the positive response to a suicide prevention app developed in Tayside which can play a vital role in keeping someone safe when feeling distressed or suicidal and decided to develop it here in Highland.
“This app will play a key role in helping the CPP to build on the range of community resilience and community network activity which exists across Highland to increase awareness of what support is available for people.”
The ‘Prevent Suicide’ safety plan on the app can be completed with the help of a trained listener on a helpline such as Breathing Space, a health professional or with a friend or family member.
The app also includes telephone numbers for local and national helplines which can offer support in some situations where people are feeling distressed or suicidal. There is also guidance on what members of the public can do to help someone they suspect is feeling suicidal.
Councillor Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council said: “It is heartening to see the partners rolling-out and promoting the use of the ‘Prevent Suicide’ app across Highland. Any opportunity to help prevent a loss of life from suicide or support anyone in distress is very welcomed indeed.”
Chief Superintendent George Macdonald from Police Scotland said: “The Highland area has a long-standing challenge linked to suicide, particularly among men.
"Respecting the complexity of each and every incident, we are consistently told by the families, friends and peers of those involved that more prevention information may have assisted them.
"This app is a new resource and approach in the Highlands having been successfully used elsewhere, including in the North East and Tayside.
"While respecting there is no single solution, we believe the app to be a step in the right direction. However, we all need to do more individually and cross-organisations to support our communities in preventing the tragic loss of more lives.
"This is one strand of ongoing cross sector work which fully recognises the challenges which are apparent in the Highlands."
The CPP joined forces with Highland’s two professional football clubs to help launch the app at an event held yesterday (Monday, 19th November 2018) in the P&J Lounge at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club chairman Graham Rae said: “The club was privileged to host the launch of the new ‘Prevent Suicide’ app. Suicide is an issue that affects people from all walks of life. The new app is an important additional tool to prevent suicide and complements awareness training we promote at the club. If the app can help to save lives and support people who may be trying to help a loved one, we all have to help raise awareness of it.”
Ross County Football Club general manager Emily Wilson said: “Our club is committed to promoting the health and wellbeing of people in Highland. We are keen to promote the suicide app as a tool that will help raise awareness of what help is available and encourage people to make a plan on how to get help should they need to.”
Anyone who would like support in relation to suicide can call Samaritans on 116 123 or Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87.