4MCA.com  /  Operation Reach Out: Suicide Prevention App

OPERATION REACH OUT: A FREE MILITARY SUICIDE PREVENTION MOBILE APP

Military Community Awareness-Digital (MCA-D) introduces OPERATION REACH OUT, a smartphone app aimed at preventing suicide among military personnel and veterans. Developed by a team of suicide prevention experts, under the supervision of the primary author, Lawrence Shapiro, Ph.D., the app is available free on the iTunes App Store and the Android Market.


Operation Reach Out is part of MCA-D’s effort to provide timely and effective support and guidance for military families.




iTunes App Store

Android Market



OPERATION REACH OUT IS DESIGNED TO:

  • Encourage people to reach out for help when they are having suicidal thoughts.
  • Help those who are concerned about family members, spouses, or fellow service members who may be suicidal.
  • Provide a personal contact help center.
  • Provide activities to help people who are depressed stay connected to others.


FEATURES INCLUDE:

Suicide Prevention App

HELP CENTER

  • Users are prompted to enter phone number for people who will respond in a time of crisis.
  • The help Center comes pre-loaded with phone numbers for suicide prevention hotlines and it is then customizable by each individual user.

HELP FOR SUICIDAL PEOPLE
12 Compelling video vignettes explain important facts,
such as:

  • Your problems can be treated.
  • There are other solutions.
  • Suicidal crises are almost always temporary.
  • Your problems are rarely as great as they appear.

HELP FOR PEOPLE TRYING TO PREVENT SUICIDE
10 Compelling video vignettes explain what to do when a person is talking about suicide, such as:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions.
  • Find out if the person is drunk or has overdosed on drugs.
  • Remove any potentially harmful objects.
  • Make sure the suicidal person understands that help is available.

Comments

  1. CatholicDadsHQ.com

    November 22, 2011

    As stress mounts for those contemplating suicide, it is important to have aid at the ready to deescalate the situation to avoid a fatal event. This is a wonderful application, available 24/7 to remind those with severe burdens, “You are not alone. There are people who care and ready to help.”

    Ed. C.L.D.
    San Diego, CA

  2. Henk van Setten

    February 29, 2012

    I think this is a good initiative. Any new way to curtail the wave of military suicides should be tried, although of course more traditional ways of treating people for suicidal depression caused by traumatic experiences ought to be intensified as well.
    At the same time I feel it would be unrealistic to expect an app like this to work wonders, for the simple reason that depression itself may prevent people to actually USE such an app at critical moments when it would matter most. I’ve tried to explain this view in a blog post “Anti-Suicide App: Limited Solution” at the StayOnTop[dot]org depression blog.
    I certainly wish you all the success you deserve. A question that just now comes to my mind: does the app include some kind of feedback mechanism that allows you to get an idea of whether users found it really helpful?
    Best regards,
    Henk

  3. Military Family

    March 1, 2012

    Thanks for the comment, Henk.

    Suicide is a complicated mental health problem, and we hope that our new app will be a part of the solution for many people. The app has two pathways; one for people concerned about themselves and one for people concerned about others. Our assumption is that the most likely person to use the app is someone concerned about a friend or relative who is suicidal. We also hope that the app will be recommended by counselors or other professionals working with suicidal individuals. It is unlikely that a depressed person would download the app without strong encouragement to do so. We are able to analyze the use of the app, and we hope that this information will help us make it even better with future updates.

    We also like to mention our many other products and resources which address personal and interpersonal problems in the military, which can be found at http://www.militaryfamily.com and http://www.4MCA.com. People don’t become depressed or suicidal in a vacuum, and we have many products that address the emotional and day-to-day problems of military personnel, from handling money or marital problems, to coping with substance abuse and various psychological problems.

  4. Diana L. Carter, LPC

    February 24, 2013

    Wonderful idea! I’m very glad to know about this!

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