Free Suicide Prevention Tool R;pple to launch on World Suicide Prevention Day as online searches for support record a 125% rise post-pandemic
According to new Semrush data released for World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September), online searches for support have increased by 125% in the last two years
· Searches for “suicide methods” have increased by more than 50% while searched for “suicidal thoughts” are up by 23% since January 2019
· The startling increase shows people are in desperate need of support, but may be being served unreliable and irresponsible sources
· Suicide prevention charity R;pple is supporting people in crisis to find the help they need with a new online tool that replaces harmful content with trusted channels
Embargoed until 00:01am Friday 10 September: Startling new analysis reveals online searches for “suicide methods” have increased by 50% in the last two years, while searches for “suicidal thoughts” have increased by 23%.
R;pple, a new suicide prevention tool launching today, aims to connect people in crisis with help, while also raising awareness of the absence of online interventions for those suffering with their mental health.
R;pple identifies keyword searches for terms relating to self-harm or suicide, then replaces harmful content with trusted sources of mental health support. The browser extension product is free to download and available now.
New research suggests there is a desperate need for the tool, with analytics company Semrush finding that Google searches for “suicide methods” have increased by 50% since January 2019, while searches for “suicidal thoughts” have increased by 23%. The research also recorded a 125% increase on searches for “suicide hotlines”
Text messaging support service Shout 85258 has reported a similarly dramatic increase, seeing an 85% increase in use of its services over the course of the pandemic.
R;pple, a simple and smart extension for browsers, will display support, a range of mental health helplines, and guidance before any comments, videos and forums relating to harmful content are displayed. Instead, it will provide an immediate, vibrant display on a user’s device once they have been flagged as searching for online content relating to self-harm or suicide, whilst also providing a range of mental health resources and different communicative options. This includes call, text, webchat, self-help app, pocket resources – for free, 24/7, from one of their charity partners which include CALM, SHOUT, Grassroots, Jacobs One Million Lives and Hub Of Hope.
R;pple is the deeply personal project of cyber security worker Alice Hendy, whose brother Josh tragically took his own life in November 2020. “I lost my only sibling, Josh, to suicide at the age of just 21. After examining Josh’s phone and laptop, I found that Josh had been researching techniques to take his own life via internet searches, suicide forums and video tutorials. The content available online following a harmful online search is far too readily available and fails to provide enough of an intervention between a user searching for harmful content and the subsequent display of the search results. I want to provide people with a voice, choice, empowerment and control at a time when they are most vulnerable,” says Alice.
To date, R;pple has partnered with technology giants CISCO, Network Rail and organisations across the NHS to provide their staff with mental health signposting should they need it.
Notes to editors:
How to install R;pple
You can find a step-by-step guide on how to download R;pple below: https://www.ripplesuicideprevention.com/install
Users simply need to add the extension on their chosen browser.
R;pple does not capture any personal data and instead only monitors the number of harmful searches and the number of users who have chosen to click on one of the mental health support buttons.
In addition, R;pple does not send emails or any communications to the user. Instead, R;pple presents a visual page which provides users with a choice to positively accept a message of hope and to seek mental health support or continue to the search results.