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Text: "The StayAlive app is a lifeline if you're having suicidal thoughts this Christmas. Ian from Liverpool."

StayAlive: Suicide prevention support this Christmas

by Jonathan Kearney

Local men, Alan and Ian, have joined others across Cheshire and Merseyside to bravely shared their stories of their struggles with mental health and suicidal thoughts, to encourage people to reach out for help this Christmas.

They have shared their thoughts as part of a campaign across Cheshire and Merseyside that promotes StayAlive, a suicide prevention app.

Christmas can be a difficult time especially for those suffering from suicidal thoughts. The dark winter nights and the stress and pressure that occurs over the Christmas period can leave people feeling overwhelmed and under supported.

The StayAlive app is there to help anyone who is having thoughts of suicide, or anyone who is concerned for someone that they care about. It signposts to local support and features a safety plan for those in crisis and a lifebox which can be filled with memories and images of loved ones.

Alan, who previously attempted suicide, has now turned his life around with support from his local community group Sean’s Place. “I just felt negative all of the time, I felt like I had no support and no one to talk to. Now, I’ve got the support that I needed and I feel so much more positive. That’s why it’s important to download the StayAlive app because it helps you reach out to local services who are there for you.”

The campaign, which launched in October, has had a great response with over 4,500 new users across Cheshire and Merseyside since the launch of the campaign in October this year.

Ian, who also attends Sean’s Place, said: “Christmas is hard, especially if you have mental health problems. The StayAlive app is a lifeline at this time of year, it gives you access to support 24/7. You’re not alone, there is always someone who is wants to help.”

Sue Forster Director of Public Health for St Helens and Lead DPH for Suicide Prevention in Cheshire & Merseyside, said: “Christmas can be a difficult time for people, especially this year. It is important 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, or if you’re concerned about someone that you care about.”

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.