In a country where suicide rates are at a record high, everyone agrees that more needs to be done to prevent suicide. There is a lot of encouragement to do that, but not a lot to actually show the average person how.
To close that gap, mental health initiative Live For Tomorrow has launched EmpathyBot
, a free chatbot on Facebook Messenger that gives people practical skills to start conversations about suicide.
EmpathyBot applies research that places interpersonal relationships as amongst the strongest protective factors for suicide. In a conversation, EmpathyBot walks people through when to ask about suicide, how to do so safely, and taking meaningful next steps. Animal gifs offer warm fuzzies throughout.
Of those that have completed EmpathyBot, 94% said it increased their confidence to start conversations about suicide.
EmpathyBot launch video
EmpathyBot was developed by Live For Tomorrow, builders of the world-first online crisis intervention service, which supports young people disclosing suicide crises online. To date, the service has supported people in over 45 countries.
Petazae Thoms has been a Live For Tomorrow volunteer for two years and regularly supports people in crisis online. “A conversation is the earliest form of suicide prevention and early intervention,” Petazae says. “It is that it is a skill that is accessible to all of us! But like most skills, it is something that we learn and get better at through practice and guidance.”
“A conversation is the earliest form of suicide prevention and early intervention.” — Petazae Thoms, volunteer
“I first started talking openly about my mental health on Facebook back when I was very suicidal. Then along the way, I started talking with a counsellor and next with my therapist a few years later. Today, I talk about my wellbeing — and wellbeing in general — in many different areas. Not only do I talk about my own stuff but also holding conversations that support others too. It takes time but it does get better. We all need to start somewhere, let our conversations be those places.”
EmpathyBot is globally accessible and available 24/7.