Suicide prevention app wins second innovation award

Patients have presented Brighton-based charity Grassroots with their top award for a mobile app which helps to prevent loss of life through suicide.

More than 30 innovative projects across the south east which improve the quality of care for vulnerable people and assist self-help safety were put forward for the award. 

The shortlisted finalists were judged by a panel of patients, which considered how the innovations met NHS England’s 6Cs of care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment. The awards were sponsored by NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups.

It is the second award in a matter of weeks for the Stay Alive app, which is the first of its kind in the UK and offers help and support to people who have suicidal thoughts.

Stay Alive has already been used by more than 4,000 people and feedback from users has been overwhelmingly positive. Comments include “Thank you – having this saved my life” and because of the app “today I saved a friend”. 

Stay Alive was funded by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Network Rail and software developers Switchplane. 

Users anywhere in the UK can access up-to-date resources, crisis support and interactive tools to support them in times of need. The app offers immediate advice to people considering suicide and to caregivers who may be able to use the information to save the life of a loved one. 

Stay Alive also provides bereavement support for family and friends.

The content was developed by Chris Brown’s team at Grassroots Suicide Prevention in collaboration with Emma Wadey, Director of Nursing Standards and Safety and the team at Sussex Partnership, which provides mental health services across the south east.  

The award was presented at Sussex University on Thursday 16 July by Patient Panellist Clive Bonny, Managing Director of Strategic Management Partners which offers advice on health and wellbeing innovations. 

Clive said: “Over 6,000 suicides were recorded last year in the UK. However that figure excludes the substantial number of deaths reported as accidental when self-harm cannot be proved. Having experienced severe personal trauma through the loss of a close family member I can endorse this innovation as a significant life-saver which can be used globally.” 

Emma Wadey, Sussex Partnership’s Director of Nursing Standards and Safety said: “We’re thrilled that the Stay Alive app has won a second award and that this time it has been voted for by patients. 

“We know that the app is already proving to be a valuable source of information and support, and we hope that as a result of this award we’ll see even more people downloading the app to help them prepare for times of crisis.”

Stay Alive mobile app is available to download free of charge on Android and iOS