Words by Smiley Team
A woman who set up a suicide prevention charity using an effective digital tool wants people to support her mission to get people the mental health support at the time they’re most vulnerable.
Alice Hendy, 30, lost her own sibling – her brother, Josh – on 25 November 2020 to suicide when he was just 21 years old.
“After examining Josh’s phone, I found that he had been researching techniques to take his own life via harmful internet searches,” says Alice.
“The content available online following a search of this nature currently provides mental health support in one format; a helpline.”
Mental health is an urgent issue. Online searches for suicide methods have increased by 50% in the last 2 years with searches for suicide support lines also up by 150% since January 2019, research by Alice through SEMRush shows.
“To ensure more help and support is given to individuals searching for harmful content online, I set up R;pple Suicide Prevention,” explains Alice.
“R;pple is a digital tool, which if a user searches for harmful content online, they will first be guided through a filter of breathing exercises and then very simple, uncluttered and calmly presented strategies and forums, help lines and mental health services they can access both now and longer term: accompanied with messages of hope and encouragement to keep safe.”
Alice’s effective digital tool has been downloaded more than 135,000 times – this has been within schools, colleges, universities, families, charities, and carer settings. The tool is free of charge, but requires a fee from businesses.
Not only that, but Alice has had more than 20 individuals approach R;pple to say the tool intercepting that at their most vulnerable point has saved their life. They’re now all receiving mental health support.
The tool has won 8 awards in the mental health and innovation space, after only officially launching in September 2021.
DONATE: You can donate to R;pple to help them expand their services and reach more people. They have a crowdfunding page on JustGiving.
SIGN THE PETITION: R;pple has an online petition for a secure search intervention as a default feature online.