New options and new angles on suicide prevention & support

With new technology comes new opportunities. The proliferation of smart phones, creates an opportunity for the development of mental health specific Apps – both as an adjunct to existing services – giving people another, potentially more independent and discrete option, but also, to reach traditionally hard-to-reach cohorts (youth, males, rural/remote, disability, single parents, GLBTI etc) when they are in the grips of a mental health crisis.

The 14th International Mental Health Conference wishes to thank Melbourne based Psychologist, Deli Baker, for presenting at the recent conference 5th-7th August at Outrigger Surfers Paradise.

Deli Baker, Melbourne based Psychologist

Deli Baker, Melbourne based Psychologist

Deli Baker has self-funded the development of a suite of three Apps designed particularly for suicide prevention. The first, called ‘R U Suicidal?’ is for someone who may be suicidal. The second, called ‘Is S/o Suicidal?’, is for anyone concerned someone is suicidal and wanting to help appropriately. The third, called ‘Did S/O Suicide’ is for someone bereaved through suicide.

This App focuses on traumatic bereavement but also directly references the risks of suicide for those bereaved in this way. The Apps are all video based – designed to be a warm, human connection – potentially at a time of great distress, fear and isolation. They are structured and interactive – guiding the person through steps designed to pave the way forward in a safer way such as by focussing and planning. They make regular references to self support to promote empowerment as well as other, personal and professional supports such as local services if those are available.

They are designed as a low cost, private, widely accessible, self help intervention ‘in the palm of your hand’. The Apps, and especially ‘R U Suicidal?’, are key for GP’s, Mental Health Professionals, Crisis Services, Schools, Youth Services, Community agencies, Police etc, to refer clients to, especially for ‘Out of hours’ or when no other services are available or if the person has engaged services but still feels suicidal and in need.

Deli Baker is a Melbourne based Psychologist who sees mainly adults with a wide variety of presentations including depression, anxiety, PTSD & Borderline Personality. Deli grew up on a dairy farm in North Central Victoria and knows the stress, isolation, service shortages etc, that contribute to the high rates of suicidality in rural and remote areas. This history inspired her to invent the Apps for suicide prevention which she presented on a few weeks ago.

Deli Bakers presentation is available via podcast by clicking here, as are most of the presentations from The 14th International Mental Health Conference.