Every day around 200 Australians attempt suicide, while many more think about it. When thoughts of suicide begin it can be hard for people to know what to do, and who they can turn to. Knowing this, Beyond Blue, in collaboration with Monash University, created BeyondNow, a smartphone app to help people when they need it most.
BeyondNow helps people create their own suicide safety plan; a plan to keep them safe when they experience suicidal thoughts. It draws together a range of ideas and contacts that a person can use to stay safe, including their own list of warning signs, coping strategies, reasons for living, and ways to make their environment safe. It is created by the individual – ideally with support from a health professional or a trusted friend/family member - and can be accessed at any time as it sits in your pocket.
Research suggests that most people who think about or attempt suicide don’t actually want to die – they want their distress and emotional pain to stop. By creating a suicide safety plan people can become more aware of when they might get distressed and how they can use their own skills and strengths to stay safe. And when they need more, the app helps them to contact their support people, whether these are personal or professional supports.
“Health professionals can’t be with people 24/7, but by creating a safety plan with them, they can help put the part of the person that wants to live ‘in control’ when they are in crisis, so they can get through these tough moments,” said Beyond Blue clinician Dr Stephen Carbone.
BeyondNow is available on both Android and Apple devices, and since its launch in March this year BeyondNow has been downloaded more than 18,000 times. The videos associated with the app have also been viewed by more than 423,000 people through Beyond Blue social media channels.
BeyondNow is a convenient and easy-to-use app, designed to help people keep themselves safe. If you know anyone who would find this app useful, talk to them about your concerns and encourage them to download BeyondNow.
Beyond Blue is working with a range of organisations – corporate, health and community groups – to help to keep more people safe. BeyondNow is a tool for everyone and can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.
More information can be found at https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/beyondnow-suicide-safety-planning
BeyondNow is a Beyond Blue project funded with donations from the Movember Foundation.