Suicide, which each year claims more Canadian lives than motor vehicle accidents, is a major community health problem. At any given time, 5 – 7% of the population is having thoughts of suicide, according to some estimates. People having thoughts of suicide can benefit from effective support. Unfortunately, knowledge about how to respond effec…tively is not widespread in our community.
To address this knowledge gap and to empower individuals who encounter people having thoughts of suicide, Durham Mental Health Services (DMHS) is launching a new Suicide Prevention and Crisis Access Linkage Line (C.A.L.L.) App for Apple and Android users. The purpose of the app is to guide users in what to ask and what to say and to help them link the vulnerable person to immediate crisis support.
The new app is a free product that provides information about suicide intervention, suicide prevention and mental health resources. It also provides a direct link to a 24-hour telephone support C.A.L.L. (Crisis Access Linkage Line), as well as an extensive list of other community resources.
DMHS Crisis Worker and suicide intervention trainer Raja Lal, says “This app is an accessible suicide prevention resource, packed full of useful information to promote safety. You can use it if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.”
DMHS Chief Executive Officer Rob Adams explains what motivated the development of the app. “Everyone seems to be affected by suicide in one way or another. Awareness and open discussion help prevent suicide. It is a subject that needs to be addressed and talked about. That’s how lives can be saved. Information, education, resources and supports can help people. That is why DMHS felt it was important to create a mobile app so that anyone can try to help. There are well known effective measures to help prevent suicide.”
The app has 6 main areas that contain helpful information:
• Feeling Suicidal? Think Someone Is?
• Being Helpful, What to Say
• Safety Plan & Resources
• Youth & Young Adults
• Adults & Seniors
• Need Support? In Crisis?
Rob Adams adds, “We hope that people will use and share this app to help create a caring, supportive community so people can live their lives to the fullest.”