Cheshire and Merseyside suicide prevention campaign shortlisted in two national award categories

The Collaborative’s Stay Alive app campaign was nominated for two awards ‘Best Health Campaign’ and ‘Best Not-for-profit Campaign’ at the Prolific North 2021 Marketing Awards, held on 25th November.

The free suicide prevention resource developed by suicide prevention charity Grassroots, encourages people to talk about mental health issues across Cheshire and Merseyside.

It was designed to support people who are having suicidal thoughts and for those concerned about someone who may be considering suicide.

Key features of the app include finding help from local crisis services and quick access to UK national crisis support-helplines; a safety plan that can be filled out and used if a person is in a crisis and needs to keep safe; a LifeBox to which the user can upload photos from their phone reminding them of their reasons to stay alive; and information on how to help a person thinking about suicide.

Working with Hitch Marketing, the Collaborative recruited four local people to help promote the app to local people including two men from Bootle, one man from Wirral and one woman from Chester. Their personal stories of mental health issues and suicidal thoughts were shared through videos and images, encouraging viewers to reach out for help and download the Stay Alive app.

There was a significant increase in downloads of the app during the campaign period with 4,870 people downloading the resource during the fourth quarter of 2020. There was also a 67% increase in accessibility of suicide prevention services, with one service saying they had noticed an increase in calls.

Ruth du Plessis, Director of Public Health for St Helens and Lead Director for Suicide Prevention, said:

“Being a finalist in these awards symbolises our ongoing commitment to improving the lives of people within our local area. Sadly, more than 200 people a year take their own life in Cheshire and Merseyside. It’s vital that people know support is out there and we are committed to keep delivering suicide prevention campaigns such as Stay Alive.

“Preventing suicidal behaviour in the first place is our goal and we are working closely with colleagues across the sub-region towards reaching the ambition of zero suicide for Cheshire and Merseyside.

“In 2022, we will launch our new Cheshire and Merseyside Suicide Prevention Strategy, following extensive engagement and consultation with partners and those with lived experience of suicide with key actions for supporting people who are thinking of suicide to stay alive.”