An innovative smartphone app aimed to assist young people who are suicidal or are suffering from depression was launched by the GRASP Life Foundation in the Clyde Court Hotel Dublin last week.
The app was created by Greystones, Co. Wicklow student Adam Harris, with support from Bray Lions Club, and is designed to enable young people in any part of the country to instantly access helplines and support services in their area. It has the backing of major organisations providing these services including Aware, Console, SOSAD, SOS and ‘Let’s Get Together’ (Cork).
Adam 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, Claire McTiernan, GRASP Life Foundation, said that Ireland has the fourth highest rate of youth suicide in the EU and 65% of those who contact GRASP 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.”
GRASP for 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
Introducing the app, Adam Harris, GRASP Life Foundation App Coordinator said, “Youth mental health and in particular youth suicide, is the foremost issue of our generation, 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.”
To download the app from a smartphone go to the app store and search for GRASP.