Suicide has definitely become a serious problem not only to workers in the construction industry but to the entire population at large. Statistics do however show that tradespeople are particularly at risk of mental health problems and suicidal tendencies.
That is why a new smartphone app which was launched this month, aims to tackle the problem of mental health and suicide. The application called “How is Australia feeling”, collects data about Australia’s mental health.
The app will prompt users to choose an emotion three times a day from a list of choices including happy, sad, angry, peaceful, anxious and powerful. Users can record their feelings without fear because they will remain completely anonymous.
The app co-creator William Smith-Stubbs went on to state about the app:
“The idea is to have a real-time barometer of the nation’s moods, emotions and general feelings,”
The app will allow smartphone users to observe how Australia is feeling at the time and how they felt on previous days.
If a user of the app indicates that they are feeling bad, the app will send out an alert suggesting a call to Lifeline or suggests calling a friend to chat.
According to the article on Abc.net.au, Spur Projects, the ground behind the app says it is the first of its kind.
Smith-Stubbs went on to state:
The creators will survey Australians for a week between 5-12 October, and are hoping to find the most happy or depressed states, cities, professions, age groups and genders in the country.
“We should get from this some really insightful data, but it should also prompt some really good conversations with people on an interpersonal level and a national level,” says Smith-Stubbs.
The article goes on to explain that the group will distribute their data online and through Beyond Blue. They are also going to consider distributing it to relevant organisations and mental health services.
The project will hopefully be particularly beneficial among the younger generations, especially men because this group has notoriously high rates of suicide nationally. When it comes to the construction industry and its high suicide rate, apprentices are most at risk, as the article went on to highlight:
“Apprentices in the construction industry have the highest rate of suicide in the country, by far – about six times higher than the average person. So, what if we use this as a way to communicate with them?”
Although the app was only released this month, the creators and their partners hope to get at least 52,000 users during October, in order to validate their data.
“This sort of digital interaction, the social media aspect of it, is going to be such a significant way in the future to get people to seek help and to change the culture around mental health,” says Smith-Stubbs.
“The average person can get involved in a program that’s saving lives.”
Anyone interested in the app should visit www.howisaustraliafeeling.com