A smartphone app designed for young Australians to manage their suicidal thoughts
In Australia, approximately 3,000 people die by suicide each year, of which 14% are aged between 15 to 24 years. Suicide is also the leading cause of death for this age group. Smartphone app-based self-help psychological treatments for suicidal thoughts have the potential to increase treatment access and reduce suicide in overcoming help-seeking obstacles by providing accessible, anonymous, and timely support. However, we currently have limited evidence-based smartphone applications available for suicide prevention in young people.
Lifebuoy is a smartphone application designed to help young people manage their suicidal thoughts and negative feelings in daily life. The app is informed by the principals of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and aims to build positive thinking and helpful skills through interactive learning activities.
History of the project
The current project is based on Black Dog Institute’s previous successful online suicide interventions in Australian adults and young Indigenous Australians.
Black Dog Institute has evaluated an online self-help program for adults called Living with Deadly Thoughts. Adapted from a successful Dutch web-based program, Living with Deadly Thoughts is associated with a reduction in suicidal thoughts in adults. We now propose to extend the principles of this successful online intervention into an engaging, youth-friendly smartphone-based app that young people can use to manage suicidal thoughts.
The evidence for this approach is further supported by The Black Dog Institute’s development and evaluation of iBobbly, an engaging and interactive app that reduced suicidal thoughts and psychological distress in young Indigenous Australians.
We have been working with a group of 90 young people with lived experience on this project. So far, we have conducted two online focus groups and two online surveys to collect young people’s opinions towards app features. We are now developing the app at the Black Dog Institute. The app will be trialled beginning late 2019. If you are interested in learning more about this project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.Back to top