A SUICIDE prevention charity based in Warrington has launched a new digital care plan for vulnerable young people.

Papyrus has created Hopelink, a service which allows young people to work with professional suicide prevention advisers, while creating, adapting and amending their very own care plans.

Kelly Thorpe, head of helpline services at Papyrus, said: "What makes it pioneering and unique is that this is the first service of its kind in suicide prevention which is led by the user.

"It is accessible, user-friendly and totally confidential, allowing vulnerable young people to create their own safety plan in which they write down and store whatever it is that helps to keep them safe when they have thoughts of suicide.

"It offers a prompt, a reminder of what they’ve agreed to do or who the right people are to speak to, offering vital information and written support which they can access at any time."

Advisers do not take any personal or contact details from the service user, and simply give them two randomly generated words to be able to access their safety plan.

Users can also access it without an adviser.

Kelly added: "This service is now available to all our callers, some of whom require extra ongoing support.

"This is an important new digital tool which enables us to guide the user.

"At Papyrus we will hold their hands at first, help them to start off and then they’ll take over, creating their own online safety plans which they can adapt and amend during their journey."

The two-way care plan was created and developed by the digital agency, earthware Ltd.

Brian Norman, founder and chief technology officer at earthware, said: "When you hear that suicide is the biggest killer of young people, it’s impossible not to be shocked and saddened. 

"So, in 2019, when considering projects for our intern programme, we chose to partner with Papyrus.

"We thrive on delivering projects that use technology to make a real difference to people’s lives and our intern programme is no different; it’s a hands-on technology boot camp to design, build and launch a digital project in six weeks.

"We’re really pleased to have come up with such an elegant solution to a very challenging and sensitive healthcare problem; one that has potential uses for a wide range of confidential patient interactions.

"We wish Papyrus every success as they launch the online support plan as part of Hopelink.

"We’re sure that it will help their fantastic team save even more young lives."

For more details about Hopelink visit papyrus-uk.org/help-advice-2/hopelink/.