“I DO know that when I am low, unable to problem solve, feeling alone, can’t remember who to contact, the app somehow helps me.”
These are the words of a JewishCare client who has benefited from the organisation’s new WellBeing app, recently developed as part of the Jewish Suicide Prevention Strategy (JSPS).
“If you have never been in a dark place it is hard to imagine how an app can be of help,” said the client. “I check the home screen [of my mobile] all the time and when I do I see the app with the orange box and the recognisable JewishCare white hand. There is no specific time that I open the app, in fact I am not even sure how many times I check my safety plan … At times when I am feeling hopeless I have used the app.”
Endorsed by the Black Dog Institute’s LifeSpan team and available to download on iPhone or Android devices, the app is completely confidential and outlines the warning signs for suicide, reasons for living, suggestions for distracting oneself from negative thoughts, and Jewish-specific professional contacts including Hatzolah, and national crisis numbers.
Importantly, it also enables users to compile a safety plan, which is easily accessible in times of crisis, and can be emailed to friends, family members or health professionals.
Manager of JewishCare’s mental health and wellbeing program, Claire Gil-Munoz remarked, “In today’s world everyone can go online and find useful information and tools to help stay safe but having a Jewish specific tool aims to make the whole community a little more confident with understanding the world of mental health and suicide prevention.
“The WellBeing app compliments the JSPS that aims to provide a whole community approach to suicide prevention. As we know it can never be a one size fits all approach … The app can be used if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.”
Launched in 2017, the JSPS – a collective effort among 20 community organisations and led by JewishCare – was awarded the Communities Matter category in the 2019 LiFE Awards at the National Suicide Prevention Conference in Melbourne.
The app can be dowloaded on Google Play Store or Apple Store.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.