Residents of Cheshire and Merseyside have shared their stories about suicidal thoughts for a campaign launch this week, to promote the suicide prevention app, StayAlive.

Liam, from Merseyside, and Stephanie, from Cheshire, talk about their struggles with mental health and suicidal thoughts in campaign materials, including videos which will be shared on social media.

The aim is to encourage people who have suicidal thoughts and their loved ones to download the StayAlive app and to make suicide prevention support more accessible in Cheshire and Merseyside.

Stephanie, who started to suffer suicidal thoughts after her father passed away, said “Having previously suffered with suicidal thoughts, I’m sharing my story to show people that they have so many reasons to stay alive. This campaign is so important because we need to start having open conversations about suicide and suicidal thoughts and the StayAlive app can help to spark those conversations with loved ones, which will save lives."

The app has a range of features including a LifeBox where people can upload images or videos that remind them of their reasons to stay alive. The app also directs people to local help and encourages a conversation about suicide and mental health.

Sue Forster Director of Public Health (DPH) for St Helens and Lead DPH for Suicide Prevention in Cheshire & Merseyside said:

“This is such an important time for us all to look after our mental health. It is vital for those people who are suffering to know that there are others out there who have also been through this and come out the other side, and that there are services and tools available that can help. The StayAlive app is one such tool which is free and easy to use if you are suffering with suicidal thoughts.”

The campaign would particularly like to reach men aged 45 to 64 as this group accounted for the majority of reported suicides in Cheshire and Merseyside in 2020 (January – September). And in addition, females aged 25-29 years, as local statistics show an increase in suicides for females within this age range.

Other vulnerable groups include individuals with a physical health condition, individuals who are unemployed or in a routine / manual job and individuals who have previously attempted suicide and/or self-harmed.

For further information about suicide prevention and support, download the StayAlive app. The StayAlive app is free on iOS and Android devices. You can download it through the app store or google play.