Coproduction for the Stay Alive App

Background to Suicide Prevention and the Stay Alive App

In 2016 we worked with Suffolk Public Health and Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust to coproduce the new suicide prevention strategy for Suffolk.

We held three Stepping Forward events called ‘Stepping Forward with a vision for zero suicide in Suffolk’ holding open conversations with 71 people at these events. We also networked with 841 people through social media, had
direct one to one conversations with 94 people. Our report on everyone’s feedback was published in August 2016.

Stepping forward with a vision for zero suicide in Suffolk Report

The report contained all of the ideas and contributions people gave at our events and in the many one to one meetings we had with suicide attempt survivors and families bereaved by suicide. The report was actively shared with Public Health Suffolk and all members of the Suffolk suicide strategy steering group, to ensure that the new strategy for Suffolk presented that autumn responded to the voices of people within the County to deliver a meaningful strategy that really can make a difference for suicide prevention.

Following this coproduction work we took forward many of the ideas for improved suicide prevention and this has become one of our key priorities for our work.

Stay Alive App

One of the ideas for improved support and self help for living with suicidal thoughts, was to explore digital technology for suicidal prevention. In the summer of 2017 SUF undertook a survey across Suffolk asking people for their thoughts and ideas for a suicide prevention app in Suffolk.

We asked “Would a Suffolk Stay Alive and Suicide Prevention App help people who are feeling suicidal?’

We told people about the features on the proposed App and asked them what other information or resources might also be helpful.

3,489 people told us their views.

Our report on everyone’s feedback can be read in the following report.

Just before Christmas 2017, the Suffolk Mentally Healthy Communities Programme Board agreed our funding bid for the Stay Alive App for Suffolk and funding was provided to SUF by Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group and Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust.

Since this time we have worked with the app developers Grassroots, and in 2021 we have over 1400 people in the County who use the app to support them to manage suicidal thoughts, using resources on the app to build their self care and ways to cope with challenging feelings.

Click HERE to download or look in Google Play or App Store 

In addition to the resources, the app includes a safety plan, customisable reasons for living, and a LifeBox where you can store photos and memories that are important to you.

You can also read the strategies for staying safe, explore the tips on how to stay grounded when you’re feeling overwhelmed, try the guided-breathing exercises and support your own wellness by creating your own interactive Wellness Plan.

The app links you directly to local and national crisis resources, so you won’t need to carry around slips of paper with contact details on, it’s all stored there within the app. If the resource isn’t listed, simply add in your own.

New features:

  • Import safety contacts who can help if you are having thoughts of suicide, direct from your device.
  • Create your own Wellness Plan for your recovery. A place for your positive thoughts, inspirations, and ideas.
  • Equal breathing exercises to distract you from negative thoughts and help you stay calm.

Life-saving features:

  • Quick access to UK national crisis support helplines
  • Quick access to local crisis services in Suffolk and Norfolk
  • A mini-safety plan that can be filled out by a person considering suicide
  • A LifeBox to which the user can upload photos from their phone reminding them of their reasons to stay alive
  • Safety contacts page
  • Strategies for staying safe from suicide
  • How to help a person thinking about suicide
  • Wellness Plan for your recovery, a place for your positive thoughts, inspirations and ideas.
  • Suicide myth-busting
  • Research-based reasons for living
  • Online support services and other helpful apps
  • Suicide bereavement resources.