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Build App for Suicide Prevention with Advanced Healthcare Features for Clinical Use

Quick Summary: Let us make this sensitive topic more heart-breaking to make you understand the actual depth of how severe the problem is!

  • In 2019, 47,511 people died by suicide in USA alone.
  • In 2019, there were an estimated 1.38M suicide attempts in USA.
  • Men died by suicide 3.63X as often as women.
  • There are daily 130 suicides in the USA.

We have positive news too. 93% of adults think that one can prevent suicide. And they are right. But with the advancement in digitalization and changing lifecycle of people, we have to adopt new ways for preventing suicide.

And with the past evidence, especially evidence we collected during the pandemic time, an app is currently the most accessible, affordable, and workable way to prevent suicide!

In this blog, we will discuss everything you need to know to build a suicide prevention app. We will also share the list of healthcare features that let therapists leverage the app’s clinical value to prevent suicide.

How an app can be an effective medium in suicide prevention?

Apps are the fastest way to reach and connect with people, especially the tech-savvy young generation. Suicide prevention app must contain the tools to track and tackle suicidal thoughts, activities that make individuals emotionally strong, access to educational material to improve mental health awareness, ways to instantly connect with support groups, counselors, and therapists.

Suicide prevention app with these tools can be highly effective to prevent suicide.

Here are the few research results that support the above statement.

  • Fiona L. Shaned first evaluated the effectiveness of self-help apps for suicidal thoughts among the young Indigenous Australians with the 150 participants.
  • Human service organizations across the United States recognize that app can provide valuable resources for individuals to address social issues, also apps are an important way of reaching the tech-savvy population. Regina T. P Aguirre came up with the development guidelines for suicide prevention apps after carefully studying 27 mobile apps and concluded that it is critical to carefully plan and develop the app and undertake an ongoing evaluation of the app.
  • Laura Martinengo developed a systematic assessment plan for suicide prevention apps, after recognizing that the mobile apps may help address the unmet need of people at risk.
    They assessed adherence of suicide prevention advice in depression management and suicide prevention apps to six evidence-based clinical guideline recommendations
  • Kennard showed the results from phase one of the treatment development study for suicide prevention. The study used a quantitative method to collect information from the families, teens, and physicians. The result shows that the participants were constructive about the utility of technology with the suicide prevention app but have limitations such as privacy and confidentiality.

However, the number of apps available for suicide prevention is less and many of them don’t even provide interaction with experts therapists, counselors, or physicians, and other important tools that are critical for such apps.

How to design and build a suicide prevention app?

Very few suicide prevention apps are designed with the proper strategy to provide suicide prevention advice in depression management, patient behavior monitoring, support for emotional upliftment, and expert counseling. One of them is Stay Alive, which is developed by the United Kingdom-based Grassroots Suicide Prevention group.

Here we will discuss the core problem in the current apps and what are the key components we need to consider while app development.

The Problem

  • People who are suffering from depression, stress, and other similar issues are more likely to attempt suicide due to the emotional breakdown. In this situation, if they have the full mindset to attempt suicide, are they really going to call for help?
    Here, we need to track the user’s suicidal thoughts and create an action plan for the same.
  • Even if they call for help, what if they kept on hold and didn’t receive any help on time? It will make the situation even worse.
    In such a case it’s critical to instantly connect the help seeker with a counselor and make them feel secure and precious, and making them realize there are people to care for them.
  • Everyone has a different problem, and the advice that works for one may not be suitable for others. So we need to present a more personalized experience that targets individual and help them to relieve the frustrating things they faced in the past.
  • Once you successfully eliminate the suicidal thought from personal at the critical movement, it is still unclear whether they will get support afterward. Without continuous therapy, the suicidal will come back at any time.

Key components: What we can change?

The following components will help you to draw perfect features for a Suicide prevention app:

  • Identify the root cause of suicidal thoughts and things that are fueling it. Create each user profile containing his personal information and the problem he is facing(mental illness, financial issues, relationship problem, and more), the therapy he needed and a list of expert counselors he can connect with.
  • Educational material, audio, videos, designed for individual users.
  • Group and solo activities to engage the person indoor and outdoor.
  • Safety plan to combat any suicide attempt.
  • Behavior tracking feature with trigger identifier.
  • Connect to the community(friends), counselor, and therapist option.
  • Storage and share option to keep photos, audio, and videos.
  • Emergency connect button
  • GPS Tracker
  • Trusted contact list
  • Long-term follow-up

These features may vary depending on the types of users you are approaching.

What can you add in future?

Smart chatbots are capable of providing personalized responses by gathering your profile information and tracking activities.

What is the process of building an app?

App development lifecycle

The top-rated apps for suicide prevention app with features

Following is a list of top-rated suicide prevention app with the features they provide, it will help you to get a clear idea about the app design and functionalities.

Virtual Hope Box

When the user feels low VBH helps them to bring out good memories by reminding them of their future goals, loved ones, a bucket list of experience, and more.


  • Tools to help patients with coping, relaxation, distraction, and positive thinking.
  • Personalize the VHB content on the patient’s own smartphone according to the patient’s specific needs.
  • Content storage option for audio, video, and photos.
  • Collaboration option to connect with providers.
  • Positive activity planning, distraction tools, and interactive relaxation exercises including guided imagery, controlled breathing, and muscle relaxation

Not Ok

The app is designed for teenagers struggling for instant help. The red button in the app can be activated to let close friends, family, and support networks connect instantly.


  • Peer Support via your Trusted Contacts
  • Simple message to take the guesswork out of asking for help
  • Immediate help with notOK’s one-tap solution
  • Accurate GPS location
  • Trusted contacts are NOT required to download app
  • Mental Health Resources at your fingertips
  • If no Trusted Contacts are available, the user has the option of connecting to a local warmline

SAMHSA- Suicide Safe

The app works as a suicide prevention and learning tool for primary care and behavioral health providers. It is designed according to the nationally recognized Suicide Assessment Five-step Evaluation and Triage (SAFE-T) practice guidelines.


  • Learn the five steps of the SAFE-T approach in working with patients and easily download resources for use offline.
  • Study interactive sample case studies
  • Sample language and tips for talking with patients about their suicidal ideation.
  • Clinical and educational resources and share crisis line phone numbers and other patient-focused materials.
  • Use SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator to provide timely referrals for patients.

Wrapping up:

Hope you get enough about the Suicide prevention app and the advanced healthcare features critical to building an effective application.

If you are looking to build a suicide prevention application with advanced features we are here to help you. We’re a healthcare-focused IT company, having expertise in healthcare software development, designing, analysis, and consultation services.

We believe in empowering healthcare organizations, startups, and the people connected with them through innovative solutions.

Click here, to find more about us!