The distrACT app gives people quick, easy and discreet access to information and advice about self-harm and suicidal thoughts - all in one single place.
It allows users age 17+ to manage difficult feelings, cope with a crisis and find help and support, even when offline.
"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)
How does it work?
The distrACT app helps people better understand urges to self-harm and encourages them to monitor and manage their symptoms. It also aims to reduce the risk of suicide.
There's advice and support information, including emergency contact numbers, how best to work with healthcare professionals, and safer alternatives to self-harming.
In the app's 'Chill Zone', users can find resources that may help them feel better, including art, books, films, music, poems, quotes, stories and online videos.
- provides information to promote learning and improve awareness
- serves as an information and service finder and holds no personal data
- is equivalent to a digital book
What other people say
"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
The app has been developed by:
- a team of NHS health professionals
- people with lived experience of self-harm
- experts in self-harm and suicide prevention
- local and nationals charities
In addition, distrACT was reviewed by the Organisation for the Review of Health and Care Application (ORCHA) and received a score of 80%.
It was named as among ORCHA's 'Top 3 Apps' for January 2019 (watch the video - about 1 min 10 sec in).
Partner organisations involved in developing this app include:
- Bristol Health Partners 'Improving Care in Self-Harm' Health Integration Team
- Self-Injury Support
- University of Bristol
- University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
- Buzz Consulting
- Charlie Waller Memorial Trust
- Connecting With People
- Innovating Minds
- The Students' Union at University of West of England Mental Health Campaign
Customisation and local information
We can customise the app for local areas and provide links to local support pages (see screenshots below) for NHS healthcare providers and universities. Please contact us for details.
Get in touch
For further information or a chat please get in touch. We'd love to hear from you.