App to ‘fight’ sui­cide

DE­SIGNED TO HELP YOUNG PEO­PLE AC­CESS HELP LINES

Bray People - - NEWS -

STU­DENT Adam Har­ris has launched a new smart phone app to help young peo­ple who are sui­ci­dal or suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion.

The Greystones teenager came up with the con­cept of the app for the G.R.A.S.P.Life Foun­da­tion with the sup­port of Bray Lions Club.

It is de­signed to en­able young peo­ple in any part of the coun­try to in­stantly ac­cess help lines and sup­port ser­vices in their area.

It has the back­ing of ma­jor or­gan­i­sa­tions pro­vid­ing ser­vices in­clud­ing Aware, Con­sole, SOSAD, SOS and ‘Let's Get To­gether.'

Adam, aged 18, has also won the Lions In­ter­na­tional All Ire­land Young Am­bas­sador award and will rep­re­sent Bray Lions Club in the UK fi­nal in Birm­ing­ham next month.

Speak­ing at the launch in Dublin last week, Claire McTier­nan, G.R.A. S.P Life Foun­da­tion, said that Ire­land has the fourth high­est rate of youth sui­cide in the EU and 65 per cent of those who con­tact G.R.A.S.P are un­der 25 years of age.

‘ The neg­a­tive ef­fect of tech­nol­ogy has been well-doc­u­mented in re­cent times. How­ever this app is an ex­am­ple of how we can ben­e­fit from tech­nol­ogy in help­ing those who are vul­ner­a­ble or in cri­sis within our so­ci­ety,' she said.

G.R.A.S.P. Life Foun­da­tion, she added, is founded on the premise that the ed­u­ca­tional as­pect of sui­cide cou­pled with cri­sis in­ter­ven­tion is vi­tal in the preven­tion of sui­cide.

‘Youth men­tal health and in par­tic­u­lar youth sui­cide, is the fore­most is­sue of our gen­er­a­tion,' said Adam.

‘In­deed it seems al­most im­pos­si­ble to find some­one who has not been af­fected or touched by th­ese is­sues in some way. This is why I de­cided to try to help peo­ple my own age who may be feel­ing low or are wor­ried about some­one close to them. The app will help to in­form peo­ple about the sup­port ser­vices avail­able across the coun­try.'

John Buck­ley of the youth af­fairs web­site SpunOut.ie said that men­tal health ‘is some­thing we all have.

‘At times it's frag­ile and needs sup­port. It's al­right not to feel ok. We need to fos­ter a cul­ture amongst young peo­ple whereby they see that it's ok to reach out for sup­port and when they do that the ser­vices they need are there.'

The Pres­i­dent of Bray Lions Club, Robert MacClancy con­grat­u­lated Adam on the cre­ation of the app. and on his success in win­ning the All Ire­land Lions In­ter­na­tional Young Am­bas­sador Award.

‘I sin­cerely hope that this app will help to re­duce the trauma which some fam­i­lies have suf­fered in re­cent months and in time will sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the num­ber of sui­cides among young peo­ple in this coun­try.'

The new app. was de­signed by Michael Pierce with graphic de­signer Donal Camp­bell cre­at­ing the sup­port­ing pro­mo­tional ma­te­rial.

To down­load the app go to the app. store and search for G.R.A.S.P.

■ Adam Har­ris, Bray Lions Club Young Am­bas­sador is pic­tured ad­mir­ing his All Ire­land tro­phy with Frank Corr, project leader, Bray Lions Club (on left) and Robert MacClancy, pres­i­dent, Bray Lions Club.

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