An Anti-Suicide App
There is a quiet epidemic sweeping the land, one that leaves devastation and pain in its wake. This epidemic is suicide, which is on the rise, especially in young men. As a therapist, I have worked with many people who are wrestling with suicide, either contemplating it themselves or those who suffer after a loved one or friend engages in this final act. One of the things that often gets said by those left behind is “if we only knew, we could have done something.”
Now the perceived wisdom is that if a person genuinely wants to end their life they will do, intervention or not. But it would, of course, be a good thing if there was a way to get to these vulnerable people before it gets to this point. Researchers in the US are currently working on an app that will flag up those at risk of suicide with at 93% accuracy. This app analyses conversations, which picks up on verbal and non-verbal cues to classify the individual as being at risk or not.
If the findings hold up, this could be a very good first line of defence in the battle against suicide. The app is called Spreading Activation Mobile or SAM. There needs to be joined up thinking when it comes to suicide where all the relevant parties can come together to assist people who are suffering. This app could be the necessary first step in successful intervention.