New app shows the 16 signs of suicide this Christmas
THIS season's festive cheer could be hiding your loved one's darkest thoughts with experts warning of a Christmas suicide spike.
Mackay-based mental health awareness service Grapevine Group will release a new app on December 1 as part of its Christmas campaign reminding the community to keep an eye on friends, colleagues and loved ones.
President Debbie Knight said the new app was the best Christmas present she could think of.
"It's not the season to be jolly for everyone," Ms Knight said.
"In fact, this time of year can make loss or a sense of isolation more acute.
"While it can be an incredibly difficult time there are ways to make sure we know where to find information if we know someone is displaying any of the 16 warning signs of suicide."
Ms Knight said the free phone app contained a vital list of local suicide prevention services.
"The phone app is full of information to point you or your loved ones to local services and support," Ms Knight said.
Mackay software company iScape worked with Grapevine Group to develop the app, with managing director Stewart McKinnon saying he was proud support such a worthy cause.
"Importantly, this app isn't just about using technology to tap into information, it's also about easily sharing where to find help," Mr McKinnon said.
"We've designed this lifesaving app for the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday regions so users can share it instantly via text or email."
Mr McKinnon said his team had given $17,000 of in-kind support to Grapevine and all his staff had taken part in Grapevine's safeTALK suicide prevention training.
The new app is part of the annual five-week Be Suicide Alert this Christmas campaign.
Mackay Regional Council Mayor Greg Williamson urged the community to be aware of the warning signs of suicide this festive season.
"Awareness is half the battle," Cr Williamson said.
"Being alert to the 16 warning signs of suicide and having suicide prevention services at your fingertips will make helping our community easier.
"Christmas is a higher risk time of year.
"I urge our community to take the time to check in on those around them and link anyone struggling to help."
To download the app, learn about the warning signs or find help click here.
Crisis support information:
• Lifeline 13 11 14
• Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
• Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
• MensLine 1300 78 99 78