There is a missing piece in Suicide Prevention.
The complexity of Depression requires simplicity during very serious dark moments in which a sufferer is contemplating suicide.
Contemplating suicide occurs for many reasons. The contemplation can grow slowly or fast.
Either way, it is very complex.
Thankfully society is gradually recognising the need to remove all stigma relating to Depression.
Society is also beginning to understand the need to communicate Depression. Reaching out to help lines and mental health organisations.
One thing is missing, however.
Two days after AFL identity Danny Frawley passed away, an invention popped into my mind. An invention to connect the most critical time of all. The time a person is contemplating suicide.
When a person is in this dark moment, it is very hard to verbalise the feeling, to articulate the feeling. It is too much pressure. We must remove this pressure. The onus must be removed from the sufferer.
When a person is contemplating suicide, first and foremost, it is now a Physical Emergency. Suicide is ultimately a physical act.
Contemplating suicide is often very paralysing due to anxiety, thus highly important we have a method to help save the person, as they are not in a healthy state to verbalise their current feelings.
Suicide Prevention Urgency Distress Signal
Danny Frawley was affectionately known as Spud.
As a tribute to Danny, I have named the invention, Spuds. I then turned it into an acronym.
SPUDS is an app that provides several things.
The Red Spud is the Distress Signal for the sufferer to notify friends, family, emergency services and mental health help lines, such as Lifeline and Beyond Blue, that they are contemplating suicide.
The sufferer is not required to speak a word. Their phone is tracked down.
The sufferer is then informed that friends, family, or emergency services are on their way. They are coming to physically save the person.
Appearance of SPUDS app
As illustrated above there are three SPUDS to choose from; Red, Amber and Green. The functions work as follows:
Green Spud: Alerts connections that you are feeling fine today. (The goal is for users of SPUDS to be tapping the green spud as consistently as possible).
Amber Spud: Alerts your connections that you are feeling just average today. In response your connections have a small list of reply options:
Have you eaten today?
Have you had a calming bath or shower? Have you had a drink of water?
Have you had any medication? Can you go for a walk?
Would you like some company?
Please do 5 minutes of deep slow breaths.
Red Spud: Alerts connections that you are contemplating suicide and need to be physically saved and comforted in person. Please note when the user presses the red spud, a confirmation box appears just to the right of it. This will prevent accidental distress signalling. (The red spud is the primary purpose of the SPUDS app).
Data is collected with SPUDS for your connections and for you to be able to analyse, even a chart to determine what is working and what is not working for you. Your very simple SPUDS data is available with your consent, to organisations such as Lifeline and Beyond Blue.
No. SPUDS is free.
No. On the contrary. These organisations are to receive SPUDS for free, so they too are connected to a person that has pressed the Red Spud distress signal.
Any person that suffers from Depression is encouraged to have SPUDS.
On average, each human knows 6 people directly. Be it family or friends. They too download SPUDS, so they are connected to their loved one that has depression. They use Spuds to simplify communication and above all else, have it to receive the Red Spud alert distress signal, so they have a chance to physically save their loved one.
Yes. The simplicity of the 3 coloured Spuds, has been designed to help youth through a very complex and very serious moment of contemplating suicide so they can be physically saved.
SPUDS summed up briefly: An app for a person that is contemplating suicide to send an urgent distress signal to multiple people, organisations and emergency services, removing the need for the sufferer to verbalise their current stressful state in which they are contemplating suicide. The person is tracked, found, and physically saved.
Due to the name of SPUDS deriving from the admired AFL identity Danny Frawley, this provides enormous potential for the entire AFL community to support the APP. This will make the start-up process have a solid foundation as it enters community
Potatoes are universally recognised as a popular source of energy, so visually as a noun this strengthens the purpose of the APP.
It is a scientific fact that the human brain thinks in “pictures”, so in the event of an emergency, the sufferer that is contemplating suicide, can visually picture the Red Spud, providing the very much needed safe haven during the darkest of moments.
Your phone is only trackable when you have pressed the Red Spud.
Lifeline, Beyond Blue and many mental health organisations have vital phone lines you can call.
They are already saving many lives.
Sadly however, suicide rates are still far too high.
We can’t deny that.
I am gifting this App idea for free, to every single mental health organization and you are welcome to even use it in your own technological platforms.
I am requesting the AFL, Beyond Blue, Lifeline, and all other mental health organisations to help implement SPUDS, so we can have this one extra piece of technology to help save lives.
On a very personal note, I know this feeling. The dark moment of contemplating suicide.
Since I was 20, I have twice attempted suicide. I was unable to talk to anyone, as I was frozen with anxiety, with nothing but irrational fear and darkness.
We need to keep working towards understanding all neurological complexities that result in depression and anxiety.
To the Frawley family, our hearts are with you.