Background: Many people at risk of suicide do not seek help before an attempt, and do not remain connected to health services following an attempt. mHealth interventions are now being considered as a means of addressing the two main obstacles to help seeking: stigma and geographical isolation. The case study describes a collaborative project between CAATCH, a community-based suicide prevention initiative, and NUI Galways Information Technology and Psychology Departments, in the design, development and evaluation of a suicide-prevention app.
Methods: The process of app development was informed by key standards in content development and software design. Steps involved included: a review of research and theory relevant to the area; involvement from voluntary, statutory and community services to provide comprehensive information on local and national services; adherence to relevant national and international policy; the involvement of subject matter experts; setting clear criteria for the inclusion and exclusion of services; user engagement in designing, developing, testing and providing feedback on the app; ongoing evaluation of the app to inform further development.
Results: The CAATCH app is freely available to download on both Android and Apple devices, and is subject to an ongoing evaluative study within NUIGs Psychology Department.
Conclusions: The importance of collaboration, interdisciplinary working and the involvement of key stakeholders throughout development are highlighted. The need for more robust outcomes-based research, and up-to-date policy guidance relevant to mHealth technology and suicide prevention are discussed.