Online Program

Safety planning in the palm of your hand: A mobile app for suicide prevention

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 3:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Theresa Ly, MPH, California Mental Health Services Authority, Rancho Cordova, CA
Anara Guard, MLS, Know the Signs suicide prevention campaign, Sacramento, CA
Safety Planning is a tool for successfully intervening when people experience suicidal thoughts or crises, and is similar to strategies used in alcohol and drug relapse prevention. In Safety Planning, the individual creates a personalized plan with a therapist or provider, identifies their support network, and describes steps to take at each stage of distress. Most safety plans are stored “on paper” – and are at risk of loss, becoming out-of-date, or raising privacy issues. This presentation will describe a safety plan that has been designed as an app called “MY3,” and will review its features, explain how it benefits clients/patients and providers, and share resources designed to support clients who use the MY3 and entities who wish to promote the app. 

MY3 was funded by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), a Joint Powers Authority representing California’s counties, which initiated a statewide Prevention and Early Intervention Initiative that includes the development of resources to prevent suicide. In 2012, CalMHSA contractors began the process of creating an app modeled on best practices in safety planning. The MY3 development team involved suicide attempt survivors in the design and testing of the app. MY3 is now available in English and Spanish at no-cost for  Android and iPhones.

 MY3 was released exclusively in California in 2013. On 2014, ownership and operation of MY3 was transferred from CalMHSA to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  for national distribution and use. As of February 2015, the app has been downloaded on over 4600 iPhones and approximately 1000 Android phones. Feedback from providers, crisis center staff, and other helpers will be provided in the session.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the benefits and features of a safety planning mobile app Identify three benefits to mobile safety planning for suicide prevention

Keyword(s): Suicide, Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I supervised the staff person most involved with overseeing creation of the mobile app. I have been involved with this project since inception, and have presented on the app numerous times.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.