The award-winning distrACT app provides trusted information and links to support for people who self-harm and may feel suicidal.
NHS organisations, Primary Care Networks, universities and local authorities can customise the free-to-download app to signpost local services and offer support to those who feel lonely or too ashamed to seek help.
Page contents (quick links)
Find reliable information and advice
The distrACT app is listed on the NHS Apps Library and won the British Medical Association 'Patient Information Award 2019' for wellbeing.
The app offers total privacy and can be used offline to:
- find out about self-harm and suicidal thoughts
- discover self-help techniques and safer alternatives to self-harms
- explore the 'chill-zone' with links to resources that can make you feel better, such as films, books and online videos
- access details about available services and support - all in one place
- know what do do in a crisis or emergency
Users can feel safe and secure because no sign-up is required, and the app does not collect any personal data.
Provide support as an organisation
Any organisation (NHS, education, third sector or commercial) can use the distrACT app as a free resource to:
- provide reassuring information about self-harm and suicidal thoughts
- signpost available services and support - all in one place
- make emergency contact details more easily available
- enable people to choose services wisely so they can get the right care first time - especially when in a crisis
- give people who feel suicidal access to information that aims to reduce the risk of them taking their own lives
Increase your reach and save on print and distribution costs if these are high.
Signpost local services
As a university or local area, you can customise the distrACT app to signpost local services and support services to give users more choice about where to go for help.
Below are examples of customised pages for the Bristol and Exeter areas:
Feel reassured about the app's safety
The app has been developed by practising NHS health professionals and experts in self-harm support in line with our robust editorial standards.
- Assessed by NHS Digital and listed on the NHS Apps Library
- Certified by the NHS Information Standard
- Winner of the British Medical Association 'Patient Information Award' 2019 for wellbeing
- 'Highly commended' for the 2018 National Healthwatch England #NHS70 Award
- Reviewed by the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Applications (ORCHA) and named among their 'Top 3 Apps' in January 2019. Read the review.
Feedback and testimonials
"I'm blown away, it's brilliant. Thank you for helping restore my faith back into human kindness with this non-judgemental app."
User feedback via twitter (direct message)
"Self-harm often occurs at times of great psychological distress, so it's nice to see that there is help out there in the form of this new app. I like that it's sensitive, easy to navigate, and promotes emotional wellbeing no matter where you are in your journey."
(L.T., Public Contributor with personal experience of self-harm)
"I think the app can help people to understand why they're using self-injury and then they're better equipped to talk to someone in 'real life'. It's something that's discreet, private and you can access at any time and that's what people who contact our services tell us they want."
Naomi Salisbury, Director of UK charity Self-Injury Support
"The distrACT app is a safe alternative to put in people's hands. So if they're thinking about self-harm or have self-harmed they can have a resource at their fingertips."
Dr Dominique Thompson, Student Mental Health Expert and GP
Partners in developing the app included:
To find out more and arrange an informal chat to help you decide whether local customisation might be useful for your organisation, please email Knut Schroeder (Director, Expert Self Care) today - firstname.lastname@example.org.