Samaritans launch new self-help app

At a time when kindness, especially to ourselves, has never been more important, Samaritans Self-Help offers people practical ways to cope and stay safe if they’re going through a difficult time.

Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland said: “We’re pleased to be able to launch our new self-help app and provide another channel of support for people during this challenging and worrying time. We know that the need for digital resources to support our mental wellbeing has never been greater, particularly when access to face-to-face support services and networks might be limited.”

Mental health minister Nadine Dorries said: “During these extraordinary and unprecedented times, it’s so important we look after our mental health and wellbeing as well as our physical health. Each and every one of us knows the steps we can take to look after our emotional wellbeing but this app will be a fantastic resource for anyone struggling during the outbreak or looking for additional support, and I’m sure will make a real difference to so many people.”

The app aims to provide a means of accessing support for people who may struggle to use Samaritans’ listening service, or who may find it difficult to express how they are feeling when talking to someone.

Samaritans Self-Help features a mood tracker that allows people to record how they feel. It recommends evidence-based coping techniques based on how you’re feeling, as well as activities that others have found useful when experiencing similar feelings.

Samaritans product manager Felix Macpherson said: “Over the past two years we have worked alongside people who have experienced emotional distress and suicidal thoughts who have found it difficult to talk to a Samaritans volunteer, in order to understand what they find most useful for coping with distress.

“We brought the launch of Samaritans Self-Help forward in the hope that it will prove a valuable place for support for those observing social distancing, facing prolonged isolation or lacking the privacy to make a call to the helpline.”

From muscle relaxation to breathing and written exercises, the app offers people a range of techniques for coping with difficult feelings, as well as suggestions for non-screen activities that people can build into their daily lives to help themselves cope. Whether it’s meditation or exploring volunteering opportunities, the activities cover a wide range of topics including kindness to yourself as well as kindness to others.

As well as launching the new app, Samaritans has also created new online resources for people who are supporting someone who is struggling that includes practical ways for people to look after themselves when they are supporting others.

Samaritans Self-Help is funded by Nominet, Samaritans’ Digital Transformation Partner, the Peter and Teresa Harris Charitable Trust and the National Lottery Community Fund.

Visit selfhelp.samaritans.org from Monday 18 May to try out or download the new web-based app and find out more.

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