The ripple effect

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The ripple effect
Date28th Jun 2021AuthorGuest AuthorCategoriesStudent Life

The Lived Experience

Alice Hendy tragically lost her brother, Josh, on the 25th November 2020 from suicide. Josh was her only sibling and was just 21 years of age. 

After examining Josh’s phone and laptop following his death, Alice found that Josh had been researching techniques to take his own life via internet searches, suicide forums and video tutorials. 

The Problem

“There are 1.2 million internet searches for ways to take your own life every month,” according to Suicide Forum, a support group. The content available online following a search of this nature currently provides mental health support in one format: a helpline.

The Solution

Alice’s day job involves working in IT and Cyber Security, with experience in working for global financial institutions and insurance firms in the city of London. 

To ensure more help and support is given to individuals in mental health crisis and searching for harmful content online, Alice set up R;pple. 

What is R;pple?

R;pple is an intervention when someone searches for harmful online content, rather than just a phone number. It provides an immediate interception on a user’s device once they have been flagged, consisting of a powerful message of hope and a selection of mental health support resources in a range of different communication options (call, text, webchat, self-help app, and pocket resources). 

The reasons why people choose suicide are often complex, and people have to take practical actions to end  their own lives. If suicide is a practical act, then we need practical solutions to prevent it from happening; R;pple is a vital and practical tool which achieves that aim. In a moment of crisis, anything that offers hope or an alternative to someone considering suicide must be considered very seriously. 

The Impact

Through R;pple, an individual feeling despair and researching harmful content will be urged to instead seek mental health support they deserve and need in a way that works best for them.

By interrupting a person’s search for a method to take their own life and instead providing them with a message of hope as well as practical actions they can undertake to access help and support, R;pple goes significantly beyond simply flagging up a helpline together with the requested search results – R;pple is a game changer in suicide prevention tools.

The Research

R;pple has been created with evidence and research in mind at every stage. To develop the content of the message and select the resources that feature on the R;pple tool, the team worked in collaboration with Professor David Gunnell (Bristol University), Professor Steven West (Bristol University), Samaritans, CALM, Shout and YoungMinds. A full list of R;pple’s advisors can be found here.

When will R;pple be available?

R;pple will launch their ‘Phase 1’ roll out as a browser ‘Extension’ product on 10th September (World Suicide Prevention Day) 

How can I download R;pple?

From 10th September, R;pple will be available to download onto your laptop or desktop as an ‘extension’ product. This can be done as an individual or as an organisation by installing the extension on all managed devices within your workspace.

  • Open the Chrome Web Store.
  • Find and select the extension you want.
  • Click ’Add to Chrome’.
  • Some extensions will let you know if they need certain permissions or data. To approve, click ’Add extension’.

How can I keep informed about R;pple?

Support R;pple by following their journey on social media and registering for their monthly subscription.

How can I find more information about R;pple?

Alice Hendy is the founder and director of R;pple Suicide Prevention and a cybersecurity specialist in the City.

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