New app intended to help save lives
A NEW mobile app launched by beyondblue makes it easier for young people to have important conversations with friends who they are concerned may be experiencing depression or anxiety.
The free Check-in app lets young people choose options to build a step-by-step plan for approaching a friend they are worried about.
The app provides a range of things young people can say to their friend and where and when they can say it, along with tips from other young people who have reached out to a friend.
Users are also able to review how their planned conversation has gone, set reminders to follow up with their friend, and access ideas about what to do next, particularly if things have not gone well.
Beyondblue acting chief executive Dr Brian Graetz said young people often avoided asking friends if they were going through a difficult time because they were afraid they would make the situation worse.
"The Check-in app is designed to take the fear out of talking to a friend about why they seem down or stressed, or have stopped doing things that they usually enjoy," he said.
"Research shows that one in four young people aged 16 to 24 will experience a mental illness, but only a quarter of those will seek support from a health professional.
"This is extremely worrying as suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians and each year accounts for the deaths of more young people than car accidents.
"While there is no substitute for professional help, checking on a friend can be a powerful step towards them seeking the support they need."
Young people who have experienced depression or anxiety provided feedback during the app's development.
The free Check-in app can be downloaded from the App Store on iTunes or the Google Play Store.