General Article ‘Prescribed’ smartphone app offers hope to young people who self-harm

Topic Selected: Self-harm and Suicide Book Volume: 400

A mental health app, designed to help manage negative emotions and periods of extreme anxiety for young people, could have a significant impact on reducing self-harm according to research.

The BlueIce app, developed in conjunction with patient groups by leading clinical psychologist Professor Paul Stallard, is now included in the national NHS app library. BlueIce, is a prescribed app and designed to be used alongside traditional face-to-face therapies.

A series of research papers published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) suggest that BlueIce could help tackle self-harm, the hidden health challenge affecting many young people. Off the back of this, in September 2019 Professor Paul Stallard started a randomised controlled trial to monitor BlueIce’s impact on self-harm to see if it reduced the number of young people needing to attend Accident and Emergency (A&E) Services.

BlueIce app

BlueIce is named to be discreet. Although it does not directly mention self-harm, B...

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