(Disclaimer: Apps cannot replace professional help and support. If you are concerned someone is in danger, reach out for professional help immediately and notify the child’s parent or guardian.)
We have the capability to connect to anyone in an instant yet many are feeling more alone and isolated than ever. Social media can have a negative impact on kids who are already dealing with low self-esteem and trauma due to continually comparing themselves to other people’s “highlight reel” that they craft to perfection and choose for the rest of the world to see. It can give the impression that everyone else lives much more glamorous and carefree lives than our own.
The endless cycle of sharing and comparing leads to countless possibilities of cyberbullying. Almost every app and social media outlet have the capacity to lead to cyberbullying. Kids can be constantly bombarded with harassment 24-hours a day, even from the safety of their home or bedroom.
Negative self image and cyberbullying could increase the likelihood of self-harm or suicide. If you have a student who is displaying signs of self-harm or has expressed suicidal ideations, do not take it lightly. Some students will not reach out for help in person. Here are six free apps that you can provide to students and parents so they can reach out for help and feel supported in a way they feel most comfortable.
MY3 allows users to create a network of people they can reach out to when they are having thoughts of suicide and to create a plan to stay safe. Encourage students to choose 3 adults to help when they need it the most.
Stay Alive is full of information and resources for people struggling with thoughts of suicide. It allows users to find help, identify signs of suicide and resources to understand suicide better. It includes a safety plan and a life box where users can store information and photos that are important to them. Great tool for parents of children with suicidal ideation.
(Available for Apple)
HELP lists warning signs and provides information on how to talk to a person who may be suicidal. It also provides national and Oklahoma specific resources that users can reach out to for additional help.
(Available for Apple)
Suicide Safer Home provides support for families of people at risk for suicide. It offers tips on how to be aware of warning signs, how to take action and risk factors to be aware of.
Virtual Hope Box is designed as an accessory to treatment to remind people struggling with mental health or suicidal ideations all the positive things they have in their lives. It provides tools for coping, relaxing, and positive thinking to help them create a positive environment for themselves.
Technology helps us to reach students we may otherwise lose if we were to provide them with only the traditional methods of support:
Phone Number: 1-800-273-8255
Remember, if you suspect someone may be struggling with self-harm or suicidal ideation, reach out for help as soon as possible. Suicide prevention takes everyone.