BBC News

New app will ‘save lives’ of suicidal army veterans

Published
image copyrightTony Phipps
image captionTony Phipps (left) and Rob Osman (Right) said the app is something that is "long overdue"

A new app has been made to provide immediate support for army veterans who are feeling suicidal.

Man Down UK will give the veterans access to a specialised helpline and signpost to mental health services.

Former Royal Marine and app creator, Tony Phipps claimed it would be the "missing link" for those who cannot access support.

The Bristol mental health group, Dudes and Dogs Military, will release the app on 28 October.

The group was founded by Rob Osman in 2019 alongside the non-military Dudes and Dogs project.

Both groups provide a space where men across the UK can freely talk about their mental health whilst dog walking.

Mr Osman said the app is going to "save lives" and stop people taking their own lives.

'Instant vital support'

He said: "The app came about from Tony after a soldier reached out to us who was going to commit suicide and that man we helped has now completely turned his life around.

"People are being faced with a six week wait until they can get help and they simply can't wait that long and so the app will give that instant vital support."

He added: "It will allow us to support those guys who we can't convince to come on the walks. They're the ones that need extra emergency help."

Mr Phipps said Man Down UK will use counselling, signposting and emergency helpline services provided by charities, Minds At War, PTSD Resolution and Forces Online.

He said: "I saw what Rob was doing and saw it would be a missing link for servicemen who couldn't access support.

"A few months ago I did an intervention on a potential suicide and that prompted me to produce an app ex servicemen could put on their phone and call upon in times of desperation."

Need to talk?

If you are in the UK, you can call the Samaritans on 116123 or Lifeline on 0808 808 8000.

For support and more information on emotional distress, click here..

Follow BBC West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: bristol@bbc.co.uk

Related Topics

  • Bristol
  • Suicide prevention

More on this story

  • Former soldier with PTSD helps others with symbolic walk