As part of its ‘United Against Suicide’ campaign, Sheffield United Community Foundation have joined forces with R;pple, a charity committed to the prevention of suicide.
One of the key strategic priorities for the Foundation is mental health support, providing immediate and accessible support which people can access in their community.
Katie Glossop, Senior Manager for Communities & Wellbeing at the Foundation explains, “The number of deaths by suicide is unacceptable, so we are joining forces with organisations who are as equally committed to preventing suicide in our communities and across the UK as we are. We are pleased to partner with R;pple to support people who may be searching for harmful content online.”
What is R;pple?
R;pple is a simple piece of tech, for use on laptops and desktop PCs. It’s an interceptive tool, in the form of a browser extension, designed to present a visual prompt when a person searches for harmful keywords or phrases relating to the topic of self-harm or suicide in search engines. These phrases include any words or terminology which have been identified as displaying potentially damaging online content.
If a user searches for harmful content online, the search will be interrupted with a pop-up screen. They will first be guided through a set of breathing exercises and then the screen changes to show simple, uncluttered and calmly presented collection of helplines, and mental health support services they can access, both now and longer term; accompanied with a message of hope and encouragement to keep safe.
What issue is R;pple addressing?
Harmful online search results can add a level of vulnerability to individuals by reinforcing their feelings, legitimising their thoughts and providing users with the ways and means to act on their contemplations. Currently, when a user searches for a term relating to self-harm or suicide via a search engine, one option of mental health support is displayed: a helpline. And as we know, the listings give a lot of information to try to choose from – probably too many choices for someone in crisis to comprehend. And then there are the very harmful websites that can be found and accessed from a search result list.
R;pple aims to minimise the risks of the internet, while harnessing its potential for good.
Luke Haseldine, Senior B2B Executive at R;pple Suicide Prevention said, “I’m delighted that Sheffield United Community Foundation have chosen to partner with us and help make the internet a safer place. We’ve all endured two difficult winters and now with the cost-of-living crisis, this winter is adding another unwelcomed pressure.
Please look after yourselves and those close to you. Take note of the support provided by the Foundation if you or a loved one are feeling low and please download the R;pple tool and tell other people about it. Help is out there, and everyone deserves to feel a sense of hope.”
Click here to install the R;pple tool on your PC/laptop.