Student’s dream to help save lives

Patrick Shaunessy with his mobile app aimed at helping prevent suicide
Patrick Shaunessy with his mobile app aimed at helping prevent suicide
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A student has designed a potentially life-saving app for mobile phones after losing friends and relatives to suicide.

Patrick, who is in the third year of a physiotherapy degree at the University of Central Lancashire, has already got backing for his project.

It has been piloted in Eire and now he plans to roll it out across the UK.

The 22-year-old came up with the idea of a free app last year after he lost a cousin and friends to suicide and decided that “something needed to be done.”

In less than a year he has turned his idea - which came to him in a dream- into reality by teaming up with Console, the national suicide charity of Ireland, and three other charities including The Samaritans, to raise more than 15,000 Euros to get the project off the ground.

His app is intended to provide help to people thinking about suicide or for people who are worried about a deterioration in either their own or someone else’s mental health

Patrick said: “I wanted to reach out to younger people in particular and thought modern technology is the most accessible way of doing it.

“Everyone has a mobile phone these days and an app that can help at the touch of a button is a discreet and fast way of doing so.”

He added: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the donations I’ve received from family, friends, local businesses and people in general to help me create what I hope will be a life-saving tool.

“If it makes a difference to just one person then it will have been worth it.”

The app TrustTalk24/7 is split into three sections providing a range of advice, counselling and supportive texts- including a call button on the app connecting people directly to a counsellor at any time of the day.

It is free to download in Ireland and the Preston-based student already has plans in place to launch it in the UK over the next few months.