MilitaryFamily.com has developed a free suicide prevention smart phone and Android version application called OPERATION REACHOUT to address the problem of suicide among the military and veterans. The application can be found on http://www.MilitaryFamily.com, or through the iTunes store.
Designed by experts in emotional resiliency the application has five features:
- A help center where a single touch of the phone will call a friend,family member or helping professional including the National Suicide Hotline.
- Video vignettes designed to help people who are depressed see that their problems are solvable and their feelings of desperation will pass.
- Video vignettes for people concerned about someone who they believe is suicidal; telling them what they should and should not say.
- Suggestions of activities that will help people reach out to someone else rather than suffer alone.
- Internet resources including real stories from people who once thought about suicide, but went on to get help.
The primary author of the app is psychologist Lawrence Shapiro, Ph.D. a well-know author and internationally respected expert on emotional resiliency. When asked how the app works, Dr. Shapiro explains: “The app is designed to help people who are feeling desperate and alone connect with others. Having powerful resources in your pocket or purse is the surest way to help get help when they need it most. The most important thing the app can do is to redirect a suicidal person’s downward spiral of hopelessness and isolation. Help is available from many places and we need to find as quickly and easily as possible.”