App to ‘fight’ suicide
DESIGNED TO HELP YOUNG PEOPLE ACCESS HELP LINES
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.