R;pple

Axbridge & Wedmore Doctors are promoting this tool which may be of interest to parents and family members or individuals who have suicidal thoughts, and are aware of several schools and colleges in Somerset who are already downloading this tool within their organisations. R;pple are also encouraging other organisations to consider using this tool to protect staff. You can find out more about this at the website here. R;pple Suicide Prevention www.ripplesuicideprevention.com

The R;pple tool is available as a Browser Extension or through Wi-Fi/network Integration.  Once installed, the tool discreetly monitors queries via search engines, forums and video sharing platforms. If any words or phrases related to suicide or self-harm are detected, the user will receive a pop-up before any search results are displayed. This includes a message of support, alongside links to help via phone, text and online services.

R;pple does not block users from harmful content if they still wish to view it – each pop-up still includes the option to ‘Continue to search results. Instead, it provides “a message of hope and encouragement that things will get better”. There is a demonstration of how the tool works on the website.

This online tool was developed by Alice Hendy who very sadly lost her brother Josh to suicide in 2020 and after his death, discovered that he had been researching suicide methods online.

Unfortunately, this is a growing issue and has been found to be a factor in a surprising number of deaths by suicide in recent years.  As a result, she developed this browser extension that can recognise harmful web searches and intervene to help prevent individuals from deciding to take their own life. At present she has received reports that the tool has helped to save the lives of 22 people since it was launched in September 2021.

R;pple provides people with a voice, choice, empowerment and control at a time when they are most vulnerable. R;pple provides 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, and consists of a message of hope as well as a selection of mental health resources in a range of different communicative options (call, text, webchat) from free, established and 24/7 charity services.